It’s kind of outlandish how sometimes one can combine numerous things that most people aren’t too fond of and produce a result far greater than anything those elements could create by themselves. Hertfordshire, England-based Enter Shikari happens to be one of those mysterious cases. Chugga chugga breakdowns, strong cockney British accents and dubstep are a few things that most people hate, yet somehow Enter Shikari find a way to combine those elements with rants about the government (another thing some people can’t stand) to create one hell of a record. On their third full-length and Hopeless Records debut entitled A Flash Flood of Colour, Enter Shikari doesn’t hold anything back, unleashing every element that has ever made this band special in a vicious fashion.
A Flash Flood of Colour is Enter Shikari at full force. Their heavy songs are really heavy (“Arguing With Thermometers,” “Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide”), their experimental songs are really experimental (“Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” “…Meltdown”) and their slower songs are heartfelt and allow for great pacing.
As Colour opens with a subtle little rap from Rou Reynolds in “System…” and transitions into the muddy breakdown that opens “…Meltdown” I find myself finally understanding the meaning behind the phrase “that breakdown was filthy!” Across the spectrum one will find an almost staggering amount of these dubstep-tinged breakdowns. These electronic effects behind the hard-hitting guitars can be incredibly useful in delivering the emotion behind Reynolds’ rants (“Sssnakepit” “Pack of Thieves” “Tyrannosaurus”) and add an interesting twist to what would normally be a bland breakdown sans the synth.
Progressing past the two opening tracks, the next three songs can be seen as great live tracks, featuring group chants and excellent mosh-worthy segments that are completely capable of getting any crowd moving. However it is not until the listener gets to track seven that he or she will witness what Shikari is fully capable of. Reynolds’ spastic yelps on “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” coupled with the “mind-opening” synth/dub breaks sprinkled throughout the track make for an entertaining listen while the dancy first half and crushing second half of “Pack of Thieves” allow one to dance about for awhile and then throw down and flail around as they please, marking another great live song contender.
All this enjoyment to be found on Colour isn’t to say that the record doesn’t have its shortcomings. The far too slow escalation of “Stalemate” loses the listener as it takes a full three and a half minutes before it reaches its culmination, and it isn’t enough to really turn the listener’s attention over. “Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here” on the other hand lazily scoots along and never really gets the listener anywhere. The album also comes off as overtly repetitive at times due to lyrical repetition that becomes a little mind-numbing.
Closer “Constellations” makes for a perfect ending as light synth tones backing Reynolds’ slow, smooth, uplifting chatter of the metaphoric train station our world is built upon gets the listener’s mind thinking, which is the goal of all of Shikari’s lyrical content. Enter Shikari – 1, greedy government – 0.
This album is Enter Shikari blowing up their sound significantly. 2009’s Common Dreads was spastic and crazy enough, but with this record Shikari managed to outdo itself. When questioned about this record later last year, the band mentioned that everything on this album would be “more extreme in every way” and I can’t find a better phrase to sum up the allegorical acid trip that is A Flash Flood of Colour.