Enter Shikari
A Flash Flood of Colour


4.5
superb

Review

by Rowan5215 USER (20 Reviews)
January 15th, 2012 | 34 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: 2012 has barely started, but Enter Shikari give us an early contender for Album of the Year with the innovative, unexpected, and downright fun Flash Flood of Colour.

Enter Shikari have never been a band to have an extremely large following here on Sputnikmusic - a fact I never managed to quite comprehend. From their early days as a post-hardcore band experimenting with synths, Enter Shikari have been on a continual upwards trend, musically and lyrically. We had 2007's rather immature Take to the Skies, an album which gained them huge attention among scene kids for the "clap clap" song, "Sorry, You're Not a Winner". The Brits released their sophomore effort, Common Dreads, in 2009, to the disapproval of the scene kids but the appraisal of everyone else. It was a huge improvement. Musicianship inproved on all levels, stupid lyrics about aliens were replaced by strong, politically-motivated lines, and for ***'s sake they stopped doing that awful inhale scream. Now, 2 and a half years later, we came to A Flash Flood of Colour; but is it all we had hoped for, progression-wise?

In truth, the answer's yes. A Flash Flood is all the parts of Common Dreads and Take to the Skies that worked, thrown in with a healthy dose of experimentation and some great musicianship. It gives us songs like the dubstep-heavy "System... ...Meltdown", "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi" and "Pack of Thieves"; we get the Take to the Skies-esque, post-hardcoreish "Arguing With Thermometers" and "Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide"; we have softer, more acoustic cuts like "Search Party", "Stalemate" and The Streets-esque closer "Constellations". AFFOC's strengths lie in its diversity and the superior musicianship; it's weaknesses lie in Rou's vocals and occasional lack in songwriting ability.

We'll go through the strengths first. "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here" is quite easily Enter Shikari's best song, and the most memorable track on first listen. Beginning with an amazing, heartfelt verse delivered by Chris Batten, the bassist, it then heads into a roaring sing-along chorus, before transforming into a more post-hardcore feel for the bridge. It's a truly amazing. Over repeated listens, "Stalemate" is a standout too; a soft, acoustic guitar passage with great vocals by Rou leads us into a moving chorus of "Yes I've, gooooone to the hills again, yes I've, goooooone away...", before a truly unexpected piano passage closes the song. It's great to see how much diversity this band has, and how well they can pull it off.

As I mentioned above, the weaknesses. Most especially, Rou's vocals. He's hit a downhill. His clean vocals on Take to the Skies were good, but nothing to write home about, and the screaming was... eh. On Common Dreads, he improved drastically as a vocalist, almost obliterating the screaming and focusing on the cleans. Here, the screaming is back and annoying as ever, and his cleans have not improved - if anything, they've devolved slightly, to the point where they detract from the quality of certain songs, such as "System..." "...Meltdown" and "Pack of Thieves". It's a shame to see such a talented vocalist begin to slip.

But apart from the disrepancies in those three songs, AFFOC is pretty much picture perfect otherwise. ES's innovative use of electronics in their music continues to lead to interesting and unexpected results (see: "Gandhi Mate, Gandhi") but it is always used well. The band has enough unexpected moments of their own, though, like when the ballad-ish "Search Party" slips into some post-hardcore madness, or when "Pack of Thieves" goes from alternative-rock to dubstep in a flash. All the musicians except Rou are at the top of their game - Chris's basslines are sometimes lost amidst the music, but his beautiful vocals always stand out. Liam "Rory" Clewlow, on guitar, continues to express his abilities to shift gears in a flash, while also relishing in his re-upgraded position assisting Rou on screams ("Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide"). Rob Rolfe is a rather unremarkable drummer, but he plays well enough to avoid criticism.

So let's conclude. AFFOC is not without flaws, but in truth it is a logical progression from Common Dreads and should satisfy any self-respecting music fan who is open-minded enough to appreciate its diversity (i.e., not the scene kids). Enter Shikari are a truly remarkable band - never sticking to one style of music, they shift, twist and turn at every opportunity. Their strong lyrics concerning politics give them a truly unique stance akin to that of hardcore rockers Rise Against; and their continued love for experimentation makes for a sometimes-bewildering, mostly interesting listen.



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user ratings (530)
Chart.
3.3
great
other reviews of this album
1 of
  • linton9488 (4.5)
    Outstanding album, can't wait for the next one!...

    Jack Boaden (2.5)
    3 good songs, everything else is filler....

    Liam Whear (3.5)
    An album that does not live up to the band's previous classics, but one that is enjoyable ...

    MyMentality (3)
    A worthy and fun follow-up from Common Dreads with a few surprises. However, it wears off ...

  • rmill3r (1)
    Do "wubs" and "chugs" really make for an innovative, pioneering metal band?...

    Brady Moore (4.5)
    People of Sputnik, here comes your favorite band again....

    SteeleShikari (4.5)
    "What the hell entered my ears?" Oh, Shikari did....

    fish CONTRIBUTOR (3)
    Enter Shikari strip down their post-hardcore based sound in favour of one centred more aro...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Rowan5215
January 15th 2012


26334 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Come at me with your opinions, bros.

Digging: Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012


50362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

you're the one with the opinion

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

Rev
January 15th 2012


9422 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Flah Flood

should satisfy any self-respecting music fan who is open-minded enough to appreciate its diversity


haha, hahahahaha, haha

Fugue
January 15th 2012


7353 Comments


I'm not a scene kid but I disliked Common Dreads and liked Take to the Skies. Maybe you should revise that part of the review because it comes across as more scene bashing than anything else.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012


50362 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I don't see how anyone can like the dubstep parts
They're so uninspired and just sound like dogshit


fish.
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012


21945 Comments


man, this band's fanboys...

deathofasalesman
January 15th 2012


5842 Comments


Unberieveabre.

Acanthus
January 15th 2012


9542 Comments


Summary spelling error.

He's hit a downhill.

No such thing as hitting a downhill, might want to reword.

I highly doubt that these guys and Rise Against are that similar. I finally listened to some tracks and the lead singer's vocals HAVE devolved to the point that they're laughable. I actually enjoyed the idea of what they're trying to do, but give me more "Sssnakepit" with better lyrics. Then maybe we'd talk ratings.

Digging: Falls of Rauros - The Light That Dwells in Rotten Wood

FrankRedHot
January 15th 2012


6448 Comments


I'm overdosing on hyperbole

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012


7996 Comments


This review is disgusting

BradyMoore
January 15th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review bro.

Curse.
Contributing Reviewer
January 15th 2012


7996 Comments


its nice of you to be positive to your buddy while you guys listen to this on the cheesebox

Wombat988
January 15th 2012


389 Comments


So you pretty much stated the genres of some of the songs, said Rou isn't an amazing songwriter, repeatedly mentioned the diversity of genres in their music while dropping hints that the band members are sub-par at their instruments and then given it a 4.5 claiming AOTY?
I'm not buying it.

BradyMoore
January 15th 2012


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

He's not my buddy. I don't know him. The review was very good. The band is good and deserves more respect.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2012


31161 Comments


Again, dubstep not dub-step

Digging: LV and Joshua Idehen - Islands

Pharoh
January 15th 2012


3326 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0 | Sound Off

i'd like to read a review for this from you, deviant.

KILL
January 15th 2012


71750 Comments


lol

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Shuyin
January 15th 2012


11613 Comments


torture yourself for the sake of the internets

Digging: Cannibal Corpse - A Skeletal Domain

Phantom
January 15th 2012


8930 Comments


This band still exists?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2012


31161 Comments



i'd like to read a review for this from you, deviant.


Does that mean I have to listen to this?



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