The press release for Enter Shikari’s third album A Flash Flood of Colour lists the albums genre as ‘punkrockdubstephardcoremetalambienttechnonoisecore’. This may initially seem like the boldest statement in the history of record label promotion, but through listening to this 11-track, genre-spanning, statement against ‘the man’, I feel that the promise of such a wide variety of musical craft is perhaps justified.
My one problem with Enter Shikari, originating from way back on their 2007 debut ‘Take to the Skies’, is the blindness of the political rage seen in their lyrics. I feel that the political rant at the beginning of ‘Gandhi, Mate, Gandhi’ perhaps epitomizes this. ‘We’re sick of this shit!’ yells front man Rou Reynolds, following a misguided rant aimed at an anonymous government who ‘ruins our environment and threatens every aspect of our health and does nothing but divide and segregate us’. I can’t help but imagine the band sat at an EU meeting amongst the heads of various countries just yelling ‘OH MY GOD YOU LOT ARE SO RUBBISH YOU SHOULD DO IT BETTER WE RECKON’ whilst offering no suggestions themselves. While you do have a right to be angry, Rou & co, you would perhaps benefit by laying off the cliché ‘stickin it to the man’ thing quite so often until you come up with some ideas yourself. Despite this, the hormonal teenage audience that will inevitably flock to buy the album will embrace such hatred, using it as the soundtrack to their ongoing fight with their parents about being misunderstood in this cruel world.
The album itself cannot be faulted musically. It demonstrates forward thinking ideas from almost every genre. There’s metal in ‘Hello Tyrannosaurus, Meet Tyrannicide’, anthemic-rock in ‘Constellations’, dubstep in ‘Sssnakepit’, emo in ‘Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here’ amongst almost every other conceivable genre. Often the blending of genres can make the songs seem slightly disjointed. The best example of this is ‘Gandhi, Mate, Gandhi’, which seems like a collage of decent musical ideas from the dubstep and metal genres patched together brokently rather than a song. Despite lacking a persistent theme, the constant changing of pace undeniably keeps the album exciting and as a result there is never a dull moment.
The overloading of genres seems hard to criticize when you think of the songs in terms of their live domain. Through their 3 albums long career the band seem to have perfected the craft of their songs to suit their live shows. You can almost picture the points in which the crowd will react with excitement in album-highlighter ‘Arguing With Thermometers’, as the pace changes between catchy-emo-guitar-hook and a drop that could easily be in the latest Skrillex ‘song’.
‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ is an exciting and often forward-thinking album featuring songs that will fully reach their potential when performed in a live domain. The only thing that perhaps hinders the album is the constant politically-orientated moaning that seemingly aims to mirror Rage Against the Machine but comes off more like Band Aid.