Album Review: Enter Shikari - 'A Flash Flood of Colour'

18 March 2012 | 6:38 pm | Staff Writer
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A perfect mess of hardcore and electronica, well produced and well executed.

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The third full length for UK favourites Enter Shikari, A Flash Flood of Colour has certainly set the bar high for 2012. Undeniably bold, unique and pulled off with Enter Shikari’s incredible flair for mixing electronic soundscapes with chaotic, thrashy melodies.

A Flash Flood of Colour is an album of perfect contrasts- managing to switch so effortlessly from the veracious anger of tracks like ‘Sssnakepit’ to the pretty melodies of ‘Constellations‘. It has it’s earth-shattering defining moments, along with slower burning and well-paced emotive tracks. The whole album has a strangely captivating sense of urgency, with political messages that are relatable worldwide, expressing societal frustrations at flaws within the system. There’s plenty of raging against the machine, so to speak. Enter Shikari manage to be so defiantly political in a way far more accessible than bands like NOFX or Anti-Flag.

Intro track ‘System…’ starts the slow foundations of the album’s rich soundscape and criticism of the political system, before building pace and launching into the punchy, bass-heavy ‘…Meltdown’. A Flash Flood of Colour only gets better from here, and first single ‘SSSnakepit’ is a definite highlight. It starts off sounding Prodigy-esque before launching into aggressive, chaotic screams and adding to the album’s characteristic defiance with choruses of “when the weight of all the world is pushing down/ just push right back.” These lyrics really sum up the whole call-to-arms kind of feel of the whole album, and it’s hard not to be drawn into the rebellious feeling of A Flash Flood of Colour.

Arguing with Thermometers’ is great - it doesn’t hold back on its lyrical attack on the world’s reliance on oil, and does it in an irresistibly aggressive way. Perfectly paced drums race under layered guitars and a mess of dubstep-style electronica, complete with vocalist Rou Reynold’s perfectly harsh screams. Next track ‘Stalemate’ starts as a gorgeous, slow paced acoustic track about war profiteering- like a better-written and more emotive version of Anti-Flag’s ‘One Trillion Dollars’. It builds beautifully from soft piano into heavy, thrashy riffs, and sits perfectly as an oasis of sincerity and emotion within the rest of the album’s heavy walls. ‘Ghandi, Mate, Ghandi’ is pure anarchic, heavy fun, while ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here’ is emotive and well-crafted while still flowing into a hardcore-dubstep mash-up. ‘Pack of Thieves’ builds and flows from rich electronica and aggressive vocals to pop-punk reminiscent riffs and melodies complete with “stand up!” shouts. Closer ‘Constellations’ see’s Rou’s vocals at their prettiest, and there really is a beautiful purity to this track after the chaos of the rest of the album. The real beauty in A Flash Flood of Colour its diversity- each track really is vastly different from the rest, and its easy to find something to fall in love with while the rest of the album takes its time growing on you.

For such a politically-fuelled album, A Flash Flood of Colour truly is a lot of fun. For a mess of aggression and dirty electronica, the tracks come out sounding remarkably clean and cohesive, with perfectly created balance and flow. Whilst I was previously on the fence about Enter Shikari, this album puts me firmly on the side of ‘massive fan’. Lyrically and musically, A Flash Flood of Colour is a damn impressive release in every respect, and Enter Shikari are a truly unique band in a sea of throwaway hardcore.

1. System...
2. ...Meltdown
3. Sssnakepit
4. Search Party
5. Arguing with Thermometers
6. Stalemate
7. Gandhi Mate, Gandhi
8. Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here
9. Pack of Thieves
10. Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide
11. Constellations