Review Summary: As far as I can see we've only just begun.
Have you heard of the post-hardcore act that uses womp-womp synthesizers for breakdowns in their songs" Yea" What if I told you they just released an EP ridding of that very nature by replacing their instrument pauses with actual instruments" What if I told you this is Enter Shikari’s greatest work"
Enter Shikari is an interesting taste of the flavor of post-hardcore music. They incorporate synth sounds into traditional post-hardcore music. They have in the past turned off many fans because of whatever fans get turned off by. Sometimes, I will admit, their music became cheesy. This is because while discussing highly political topics they would break the song down with womp-wompin synth music that would at times alienate me (Arguing with Thermometers).
“The Paddington Frisk” kicks off with vocalist Rou Reynolds yelling/screaming/talking over quick drum beats and guitar chords. The song continues like this with a steady pace. There are various synth sounds raging around in the background and they are interesting. They are not hindering the song, but actually adding to the erratic tempo that this entire EP holds. On first listen I was waiting for the synths in the background to come to the foreground and then it hit me.
Rou reaffirms us, ‘We’ve Only Just Begun!’ BOOM. Guitar and instrument breakdown. Heavy, groovy, spit-scream.
This sets the tone for the rest of the EP: urgent, coherent, musically creative.
We have seen the melodic sides of Enter Shikari before. These melodic times have provided some of the best songs (Constellations, Johnny Sniper). Now they have finally blended aggressive music, agitated and urgent lyrics with melodic melodies from both the vocals guitars, and synths. This is shown on the next two songs “Radiate” and “Rat Race.”
The last 3/4th of the former song is beautiful. Rou is barely at a whisper while the guitars harmonize behind his “and to keep us from falling apart, we’ll write songs in the dark, and to keep us from fading away, we’ll write for a better day.” The atmosphere is soothing. The song picks up the beat with the stop and go chords blending with the drumwork of Robert Rolfe. Rou’s voice is at his best. The song’s one flaw can be arguably the anticlimactic ending by returning to the soft chords. The vocal oohs threw me off.
The latter song is probably the most chaotic of the trio. The guitars Rory is providing are dissonant and melodic. The chorus riff is an intricate riff woven between the poundings of kick drums. The horns in the background actually work. The bridge of the song has a slowed down chord progression and leads into melodies of horns and some heavy synth work, but it is not as prominent or stand alone as it has been before.
The last song is a remix of the song “Radiate.” Nothing really stands out here. It keeps up the melody and harmony with a different structure and synth work.
The lyrics are centralized around the idea of constantly trying to keep up with the Jones, or even surpass anything they have done. Life can ultimately turn into a rat race, with people working till they die. People often want the highest of success but Rou reminds us that, “When you finally reach the front of the pack, There's nothing there, just and endless barren track, It goes on and on.”
Is this the best EP release of 2013" No.
This is Enter Shikari releasing possibly the best three cohesive songs in their history. This is a chance for fans to reunite with this band. This is a chance to hear a new take on post-hardcore from a band who continually has produced different blends of music together.
If their new album is coherent with songs like these, I guarantee it will be their best.