Enter Shikari
The Mindsweep


2.0
poor

Review

by Simon Killip CONTRIBUTOR (144 Reviews)
March 15th, 2016 | 37 replies


Release Date: 01/19/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Enter Shikari spend more time platting piss, than focusing on solid ideas.

We all have one; that band which inexplicably irritates you beyond rational comprehension. It can be caused by the singer, the music - or sometimes both; every note, beat, lyric, it just sends you into a state of stupified disgust and bewilderment. Of course, music is extremely subjective, and my contempt for a band could mean the world to others. Which leaves you in a situation where you'll come across a successful band that you dislike, but others love. Like being given an in-joke you weren't invited to understand. One such band to send me into this state of frenzy is Enter Shikari. For the life of me I can never put my finger on how this band got an inch of exposure; their style of music is best described as a collection of different shapes franticly trying to fit together with each other: the synthesisers are out of place from the post-hardcore dominated sound; the singer's voice is gobsmackingly awful and clashes with the music as much as the electronics do, as he ham-fistedly wails out his parts; while compositions jolt and stutter from verse to chorus more often than not. If I was captured for interrogation, just put something on from these guys and I'll tell you everything you wanted to know.

But, I decided to put on their last effort, The Mindsweep, to test my emotions against objectivity. The results delivered on my primal emotions, and was a generally terrifying exercise, but the band did occasionally surprise me from time-to-time. The albums opening track, "The Appeal & The Mindsweep I", has a broad, epic soundscape, with swooping guitar passages that build up to a fairly satisfying conclusion. While Roughton's vocals occasionally hit the right marks at some points on the album: the screams and melodies for the verse in "The Last Garrison" bring a decent level of melancholy and add to the aggressive sound behind it; despite the terrible rap influenced verses of "Anaesthetist" the chorus is catchy as hell; while I almost entirely enjoyed the Interpol-esque "Never Let Go of the Microscope", the song's overall presence was a real surprise.

I will give the band credit for some of their pretty diverse ideas, but a lot of the songs and ideas on here just aren't fleshed out enough; tonally it's all over the place, and never clear which direction the band wanted to go with their ideas. I can pick parts of songs that have some nice ideas, but it always ends the same way: inconsistent and blotchy, breaking immersion everytime. "Myopia" starts off with Roughton doing a Thom Yorke impression, but by the end of it it sounds like a generic metalcore number with backing chants; you just never know if you're coming or going, and every song on here falls for it in varying degrees. The biggest drawback from me, (and it will always be the problem for this band in my opinion) is the vocals. There are little moments where melodically they sound a little Interpol'y or Radiohead-esque, but more often than not the band just sound like a bunch of pissed-up hooligans, slurring down the microphone at a karaoke. Roughton can hold a note, sure, but they never up the game past banal; his rapping throughout "Anaesthetist" and "Never Let Go of the Microscope" is gimmicky and adds nothing to the songs (other than an eyeroll), while the backing-vocals do as much damage to the album, with songs like "The One True Colour" which sound like the terribly cheesy and airy vocal melodies of the debut I Killed The Prom Queen record. But you also come to tracks like "There's a Price On Your Head", where the singing has changed quite drastically, and they do a half-baked impression of SOAD with a Dillinger Escape Plan riffing; this is equally negative as they don't pass it off as their own, and it comes across as just a bad imitation.

Even though I haven't been won over, The Mindsweep surprised me more than I thought it would. An incoherent mess, but one with some little golden nuggets nestled away that show up from time-to-time. Despite a lot of the electronics and the vocals never sitting right with me, the music can sometimes be enjoyable. It's just a shame that the likes of "Never Let Go of the Microscope" don't focus enough on the dominant ideas they have, rather than shoehorning random ideas into songs.

Poor.

Edition: C̶D̶, MP3, V̶I̶N̶Y̶L̶

Packaging: N/A

Special Edition: N/A



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user ratings (509)
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3.6
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Comments:Add a Comment 
DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13430 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I went for a more personal perspective review for a change.



I hope fanboys actually read my review before negging, because I'm someone who hates this band. A lot. But I listened to it as objective as possible to get my points across, rather than a mindelss rant.



Anyway. As always, constructive criticism welcome guys.

Tunaboy45
March 15th 2016


15521 Comments


Gonzooooooo!

Smashing it left right and centre man, great review as always.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13430 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Hey man! haha cheers.



You a fan of these?

Tunaboy45
March 15th 2016


15521 Comments


I tried for so long to get into these, when A Flash Flood Of Colour dropped I gave it a listen and thought it was decent but nothing that blew my mind. I see them as more of a 'singles band' than anything else.

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
March 15th 2016


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review is a bit too personal for my taste, but its not badly written by any means.



Does diminish the review's worth when you say you subjectively hate them in the first few sentences though.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13430 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Aye, I'm not one for personal reviews either, tbh. I just wanted to try something different.



And I know what you're saying about the start of the review, but I'm just trying to point out that even your most irritating band's can have some decent ideas, I guess?

PumpBoffBag
March 15th 2016


880 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review man. Think the rating might be a little harsh though

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13430 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Cheers bud. Like I say, not a fan of these guys whatsoever, so giving it a 2.0 was a big surpise for me. lol

Spacesh1p
March 15th 2016


7025 Comments


Enter Shkreli?

Digging: Echospace - Liumin

Spacesh1p
March 15th 2016


7025 Comments


I'd rather not

BurntSynapse
March 15th 2016


132 Comments


Never listened to these guys and I'm definitely not compelled to let this be my first venture into their discography based on your review. Maybe I'll give one of their other album's a spin later. Nice write-up, I enjoyed your personal perspective approach!

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
March 15th 2016


1367 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I can totally understand you not liking these guys, by the way. If I'd heard them for the first time today and not 10 years ago I'd probably of hated them too.

LepreCon
March 15th 2016


5419 Comments


2016 is one horrid year- legends dying and shitty bands I'd thought gone resurfacing

oisincoleman64
March 15th 2016


2099 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This came out last year

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
March 15th 2016


55299 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

album is OK but this band really should be doing better

Digging: Khmer - Larga Sombra

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fucking plebs in this thread why dont you all stop having opinions on this band pls

Digging: Emma Ruth Rundle - Marked For Death

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
March 15th 2016


13225 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

bad first paragraph and im not saying that because im a massive fan of this band, but because you talking about how much youve always disliked them is pointless and doesnt need to be in there, also means im not really gonna take whatever you say after serioususly even tho the rest of the review is solid.

Apollo
March 15th 2016


10670 Comments


This band hasn't been good in years

SitarHero
March 16th 2016


5937 Comments


I don't think much of this album, but the chorus of Last Garrison is hall of fame.

DrGonzo1937
Contributing Reviewer
March 16th 2016


13430 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Damn mort, I'd have thought you would have appreciated what I was trying to do here, as you know I loath this band. It's just a different approach to my writing, for fun. But I would have thought you'd have seen the more positive message in this than the negative.



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