St Albans quartet lays out its blueprint for a new world order.
Ian Winwood 2012
A look over the news headlines since Enter Shikari released their debut album, 2007’s Take to the Skies, is to see a world that seems to be in freefall. Virtual economic meltdown, the crisis in the Eurozone, ongoing Orwellian overseas conflicts, riots in England’s major cities, endless austerity programmes the end date of which stretch years into the distance. Take your pick. What is surprising about the music made by British rock bands during this period is how few of them find room on their lyric sheets to sing about what is happening on the streets around them. Enter Shikari should be given credit for attempting to take the temperature of our troubled times and framing this in musical form.
In many ways A Flash Flood of Colour stands as a companion piece to Punk & Poetry, the album released last year by The King Blues, the only other mainstream-breaching British rock band concerning itself with the news of the world. But whereas The King Blues are Class War, Enter Shikari are more Occupy London; not so much people who wish to smash the windows of the Supreme Court, but who desire to call time on a capitalist system draining a world made up of finite resources. When coupled with music listened to – consumed, if you like – by young people, such a narrative can lead to groans from listeners convinced that pop and politics do not mix. This is fine, but be sure that frontman Rou Reynolds’ well-rounded and forcefully articulated sentiments are more arresting than, say, contemporaries You Me At Six’s tales of boy hating girl because girl just doesn’t, like, understand him.
To accompany this roused rabble is music that remains inventive in a way that deserves more credit than its creators seem to receive. From the mad mash of Arguing With Thermometers to the more reflective Constellations, the group’s melding together of dance music, metal riffs, punk energy and vocals that sound English rather than Californian make A Flash Flood of Colour not only a compelling effort, but an appropriately named one to boot.