A Flash Flood Of Colour
16 January 2012
by Raziq Rauf
You don’t like Enter Shikari. It sounds like a mess. What exactly is this music? Is it dance? Hardcore? Emo? Neither? What? Yeah, that’s right. You sound like your dad.
The problem you’re having is that Enter Shikari are absolutely the band of the now. They have been ever since they first broke through in 2007 with Take To The Skies, chock full of great tunes, thunderous riffs, emo stylings and seemingly misplaced trance and rave layerings. But just think about how many more Enter Shikaris there are clogging up the UK’s toilet venues now. This is the band all those bands want to be and hopefully this, their third album, will inspire a whole other legion of bands
Much has been made of the increased politicisation of Rou Reynolds’ lyrics. While it’s certainly not a new thing – just listen to the dubstep-fuelled ranting of second album, Common Dreads – his diatribes have increased in subtlety and thoughtfulness, achieving a more comfortable focus within the songs. This is less a calculated effort than something that has simply come with maturity and experience. There’s enough self-awareness in ‘Gandhi mate, Ghandi’ for Reynolds’ furious anti-government spiel to be interrupted by his bandmates hilariously telling him to, “Calm down… Remember Ghandi.” Sometimes it’s good to sit down and take stock. As serious as the message being relayed, there is humour and a throwaway feeling throughout – even within the music which here continues with a collection of bleeps and percussive something or others that will surely have no place in the annals of classical musical history.
There’s a deeper understanding here than simple anti-capitalism. The words on this album are not those of a simpleton hippy joining the braying minority masses in Occupying and revolting. No. There’s talk of fossil fuels, the complexities war, climate change and the future of this pitiful economy. It’s wide-ranging but there’s not a single love song. Reynolds clearly saves that for the bedroom.
Obviously, using political messages is an easy way to justify shitty music but it’s just not the case with A Flash Flood of Colour. There are certainly not as many instantly recognisable tunes as were on Take To The Skies but this is an accomplished, varied and balanced set of songs none the less. Enter Shikari are in a position to really make a difference within the things they really care about. They’ve brought their largely young fans in with the promise of great music and kept them with an ethos and philosophy that truly has enough substance to rankle with the more apathetic among us. This is the kind of substance that has the potential to inspire as well.
A Flash Flood of Colour is an engaging and accomplished album and in a time when the UK’s biggest young rock bands seem to be more pre-occupied with their love lives than the world crumbling around them, Enter Shikari may have released one of the most important albums of 2012.