Review Summary: 3 good songs, everything else is filler.
A band's third album is usually known for being either being excellent or horribly poor. A band's third album can encapsulate the sound of a band at the pinnacle of their career (think OK Computer
) or it can be a release the fans (and perhaps the band themselves) wish to forget. Enter Shikari's third album, A Flash Flood Of Colour
sits between these two extremes, almost painfully at times.
Enter Shikari's first album Take To The Skies
showed potential upon its release, but was plagued by elementary song writing and bland songs. A Flash Flood Of Colour
is a huge step up from both Skies
and the band's second album, Common Dreads
. Here, we see the band take a far stronger focus on song writing and less on cramming as many electronics as possible into a song, a major flaw in the first album. Take To The Skies
was an inconsistent mess of an album, save for a few tracks, rendering it almost unlistenable at times.
This stronger focus on song writing is apparent in album highlights such as "Stalemate," "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here" and "Arguing With Thermometers". In these tracks, the electronics are used well, adding lots of different melodies to each song, rather than render it a mess like most of the Skies
album. "Stalemate" in particular is an example of the electronics being used sparsely, proving that, in some cases, less certainly is more. "Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here" is one of the best tracks Shikari have ever written. It flows along mid tempo, with plenty of electronics that are used well up until the break halfway through where the best riff on the album kicks in and the song explodes.
However, album opener "System..." attempts to sound like a sprawling epic, setting the scene for what's to come, and it falls flat on its face. It probably sounded better in on paper than it did in the studio. "Sssnakepit" is easily the worst song on the album, and is reminiscent of Take To The Skies
. Here, all the wubwubs are overused, resulting in a mess of a song. It jumps around with next to no focus on actually writing a good song, instead trying to overcompensate by adding so many layers and wubs it sounds like a Take To The Skies
One of the (few) redeeming factors about Enter Shikari's old work was that it was fun
to listen to, the energy within the music was infectious. This isn't as true for A Flash Flood Of Colour
, sadly. Whilst the band have focussed on writing better songs, the energy and angst behind them has been lost. On the album, you won't find any "Sorry, You're Not A Winner" sing-alongs nor will you find any corny "Johnny Sniper"s. Instead, we have a few good tracks here and there but everything else lacks energy, resulting in a horrifically average affair.