British quartet Enter Shikari have steadily climbed the ladder to success and are closing in on the top of the latter. Obtaining worldwide success with their sophomore full-length Common Dreads in 2009, Enter Shikari have shown the world what they are capable of in the form of ass-kicking jams that incorporate heavy guitars and even heavier British trance influences. As the band is set to release a new album later this year, they have decided to give us a taste of what their sound will be like with the new single “Quelle Surprise.” It is unclear if this track will be on the upcoming album or not, but regardless of its position on the album, “Quelle Surprise,” along with previously released single “Destabilise,” deliver exactly what Enter Shikari should be delivering.
Introducing the song are shallow string tones that build into the trademark Shikari synth beats along with a surreptitious guitar line from Rory Clewlow that supports the classic spoken-word style of vocalist Rou Reynolds. As expected, this spoken-word transitions into Reynolds’ rough vocal style as he shouts “If you stand for nothing/You will fall for anything, for anything.”
Continuing the song is what is typically the strongest part of most Shikari songs. The chorus of “Quelle Surprise” packs a very satisfying punch as Reynolds repeats “We’re aware/They’re trying to take away our dreams.” The song quickly bounces between this chorus and his raw shouts.
Now this wouldn’t be a legitimate Shikari single without a perfectly executed breakdown, and “Quelle Surprise” delivers just that. Even though the song doesn’t contain as many breakdowns as “Destabilise,” the lone breakdown on this track is still as mosh-inducing as ever. Though only crunching in with prominent chugs, the use of the synth in Shikari’s breakdowns is what makes them so interesting. Concluding the breakdown, Reynolds chimes in over the chugging with the same spoken-word lyricism that introduced the track, but this time it appears that he chokes on his words (when I say “chokes” I mean he literally begins to choke on his words) from time to time, which adds a surprising flavor to his slight rap session.
The song concludes on a somewhat dull, but overall acceptable note as Reynolds softly repeats the chorus as his words crescendo with the music and finally cease the song.
Though “Quelle Surprise” didn’t seem to deliver as much excitement as “Destabilise,” it still packs a powerful amount of interesting elements and much like Enter Shikari as a whole, it is definitely a grower.
Listen to “Quelle Surprise” below and watch out for new material from Enter Shikari in the future.