Thursday, 19 January 2012
Enter Shikari - A Flash Flood Of Colour
Last week, there was a general buzz in the air at how the Maccabees very nearly nabbed the No. 1 spot in the album charts - initial mid-week reports laid the groundwork for a guitar band beating off the likes of big pop artists like Adele and Bruno Mars (albeit in the notoriously poorly-selling January weeks).
And while the Maccabees ultimately ended up at a still very respectable No. 4, the situation looks set to repeat itself this week - but in this instance with Enter Shikari taking up the gauntlet.
For the dance-metal melding rock act, it'd be a major coup, but a thoroughly deserving one. A Flash Flood Of Colour is, in short, brilliant - particular highlights include the politically engaged Stalemate and the almost Streets-esque Constellations: all rhymed spoken word tales of being lost in an uncompromising world. Disaster vs. sustainability - the band leave it up for the listener to implement the ambition and drive for success on their own life.
Many albums can attain to sound 'of the time', but it is A Flash Flood Of Colour that truly engages with what our time is about. Cutting through headlines with an almost childlike singularity of mind, the album sees the crystallisation of a band at the peak of their powers - to see the record go No. 1 would be a bite back at arguably anti-Metal institutions like the BRIT / Mercury awards.
And that's not to say what the BRIT and Mercury awards do is wrong - personally I love keeping up to date with them and think they bring a vital sales boost to the industry - but there are certainly specific genres they overtly shy around, in the process ignoring many great albums. Enter Shikari nabbing that No. 1 would be only right for a band that have stuck in there when so many others have folded after disappointing sales of their sophomore effort.
What makes A Flash Flood Of Colour so brilliant though? It's there in the way it folds together stadium-sized hooks with the forefront of the dub-step-metal movement brought so wonderfully to the fore by Korn's Path of Totality last year. Oh, and the album is so definitively British - it could have only been here, made in England, that a band would have the bombacity and innate sense of quirk to title a single Gandhi Mate, Gandhi.
It's here that - alongside Constellations and Stalemate - that the record hits its peak. Passing through its various movements, from manifesto-like spoken-word intro to thumping acidic synth meltdown, from hardcore riff-slamming to the way Rou Reynolds reels off a wild cry of 'yabbadabbadoo' as if its place in a contemporary song is the stuff of everyday occurrence. It's electicism at its very best, concentrated down into one of the best rock LP's of the past twelve months.