Originality is a hard thing to come by in music. Endless samplings, covers and re-releases plague the charts on a regular basis, which makes the likes of Enter Shikari all the more refreshing. With this third release, A Flash Flood of Colour, the band have really found their niche, a perfect mix of melodic and hardcore synth rock, filled with energy and, most importantly for this album, defiance.
The band have always poked fun a The System. You only need to look at the lyrics of their breakthrough release ‘Sorry, You’re Not a Winner’, with lyrics like “Scratch card glory, waist low pleasure?” and “What have you got to lose but false intentions and a life so pretentious?”, to see the band wants to say what’s on people’s minds.
This album goes a stage further, preaching the destruction of society in no subtle terms. Luckily not to the extent that it makes the music bloated or self-indulgent. From opener ‘System…’ there is a massive scale to the album which grows with each track, dancing from rave to heavy rock (often within the same song) – this isn’t the sort of album you can sing along to, but that’s no bad thing.
The slightly more radio-friendly tunes, such as ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here’ and ‘…Meltdown’ really bring the extremes of the band together best, and even the rage-fest ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’ somehow manages to get its point across.
The album is bristling with musical talent, to bring keyboards and heavily distorted guitars together seamlessly is a skill, and while there are moments which might be too shouty for some, there are no tracks which really stumble.
Some of the songs, particularly the hypnotic ‘…Meltdown’ demand a live airing to get the full effect, but the energy captured on disc is impressive, pulling the listener from track to track relentlessly – even through the quieter moments.
In all a fantastic slice of musical prowess, delivering everything we’ve come to expect from the band and a few extra twists and turns thrown in for good measure.
The reflective closer ‘Constellation’ offers a final coda that sums up the album’s energetic journey. It paints a picture of two trains, one bound for destruction and one for sustainability, but after this formidable release it’s safe to say Enter Shikari have their seats reserved on the latter.
James Michael Parry