Album Review: Enter Shikari – Take to the Skies
This is proper Enter Shikari! Back when I was 15, Enter Shikari were the very definition of emo culture. Blending screamed vocals, heavy distorted riffs, simplistic (if a little poor) drumming and synths, Enter Shikari literally blew the music scene apart. Their DIY approach to recording and gig venues (I heard rumours of houses rented specifically for gigs and shows in forests) have now been lost in massive venue tours and high production value but the same Enter Shikari still lingers in their new stuff, it just doesn’t feel as fresh.
The self-titled Enter Shikari is a frantic track full of speedy riffs, string bends and double foot pedals. The constant twinkling synth plays in the background as lead singer Rou Reynolds howls like a madman. “And still we will be here, standing like statues” this line is often used by fans when demanding an encore but the track actually represents the political side of Enter Shikari that would become more prominent in their next albums. Mothership carries on the same trancecore moves with a much more prominent synth this time around which makes you want to move. The guitar is heavy with disorientating guitar work whilst Reynolds howls “Go tell all your friends that this is the end”. It’s hard to understand the vocals due to the speed and ferocity of both singer and guitarists. Lead single Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour was the track that gained the band the most popularity, with Kerrang! giving it massive airplay. The vocals are clean telling the tale of a guy who attempts to romance a lady and is largely ignored by her. The guitars are a bit more standard rock this time around with the drummer actually sounding like he can drum. I’m not actually a fan of this song; in fact when I first heard it I despised it.
No Sssweat is a song written for parties. The synth is catchy as hell, the vocals very poppy but the breakdown and screamed vocals on the chorus are euphoric. The positioning of clean and screamed vocals is so well done that you get an equal amount of both which is genius. Interlude 3 is an amazing drum n bass style electronic programmed drum beat which leads directly into fan favourite Sorry You’re Not a Winner. I would argue that this is one of the greatest live track every written. The opening riff leading into an entire audience clapping along to the “clap clap clap” part is amazing. Every time I hear this song I just want to get up and mosh and if I daydream whilst listening to this with my friend, I get chastised for not doing the clap. It’s a brilliant kinetic track both in MP3 or live. Adieu is a rare moment of calm for the Saint Albans madmen. The acoustic track is calming and I often end up listening to this track if I’m down in the dumps. In fact it often comes on shuffle to make me feel more depressed then I already do!
I give this album 9 out of 10. This album brought music into the 21st Century. It made using social networking an important part of a band’s rise and a DIY approach a necessary part of a band’s beginning. This has influenced the music business in a big way and I kinda miss this sound. Like The King Blues this band are relevant and it would be a disaster if they ever broke up