Review Summary: A hard-hitting fantastic Sophomore album from the British Quartet.
I was sceptical of this release before it was announced by the band. Most bands struggle with their sophomore album but i think Enter Shikari nailed this album right on the head. I initially thought that this album wouldn't bring anything fresh to a genre that lasted about as long as my mum's homemade lasagne.
The album starts with an introduction that reveals to the listener that this album will be politically motivated, aggressive and idiosyncratic to the persona you associate with Enter Shikari. The album is very much free-flowing which i find is essential to the Enter Shikari 'sound'. With that said any one of these tracks can be grabbed, placed in a playlist and won't become obscure and unlistenable.
The album itself is broken down with three with 3 dance-influenced interlude tracks which create a bigger build up for some of the harder hitting tracks such as 'No Sleep Tonight', 'Antwerpen' and 'Hectic'. It should be noted the way this album is constructed with these interlude tracks has been done with considerable care, which is incredibly unusual for an album that has such a thumping impact.
Lyrically this album is superb. Confrontational and emotionally charged lyricism gives the listener an outlet for their probable teen angst. Chanted breakdowns like in 'Fanfare for the Conscious Man' create sure-fire crowd pleasers for the festivals and gigs yet cleverly woven lyrics around an onslaught of sound like in 'Zzzonked' gives the album a diverse yet consistent language to accompany the music.
However one of the album's strongest points can also be considered one of their weakest. New fans may not warm to lengthy-worded and opinionated verses and if the album were any longer i think complex lyrics like 'ethno-centric' would probably lose all affect and simply become washed over by the sound.
Upon first listen not much sounds different to their debut 'Take to the Skies'. But once its grown on you and you know the tracts, you can tell there is an obvious diversity in their sound and style. An animosity is clearly shown with the many breakdowns which seem to be overpopulating the heavier music genres these days. This i believe is something that Enter Shikari rely to heavily on as if it's their Achilles Heel.
No Sleep Tonight
Gap In The Fence
Enter Shikari are
Roughton 'Rou' Reynolds
Liam 'Rory' Clewlow