A Flash Flood of Colour

by: Enter Shikari

"Don't be fooled into thinking that a small group of friends cannot change the world," Rou Reynolds' emphatically cries on the anthemic, electro-rock of "Pack of Thieves." It's a mission statement which perfectly summarizes the revolutionary intentions of St Albans' four-piece Enter Shikari on their third studio album, A Flash Flood of Colour. Ignoring the cliched boy-meets-girl themes favored by most of their emo contemporaries, its 11 tracks continue to pursue the sociopolitical approach they first explored on 2009 predecessor Common Dreads, in a venomous and often brutal manner which often recalls Rage Against the Machine at their most explosive. Indeed, the ranting diatribe which kick-starts the unsettling techno of "Gandhi, Mate, Gandhi," could be mistaken for some kind of Occupy London protest speech, while the likes of "Meltdown," which compares Britain's economic situation to an eroded cliff-top house, is indicative of Reynolds' fondness for heavy-handed metaphors. This rebellious stance rarely transcends "Beginners Guide to Politics" territory, but then considering it's accompanied by such a hyperactive Wall of Sound, it's perhaps unsurprising that there's little room for subtlety. Produced by former Sikth guitarist Dan Weller, the album hardly sits still for one minute, lurching from demonic metal to industrial dubstep ("Arguing with Thermometers") from trippy electronica to blistering air guitar prog ("Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here") and from wobble-heavy drum'n'bass to rabble-rousing punk ("Sssnakepit") in an appropriately blatant disregard for convention. The footstomping acoustics of "Stalemate" and the twinkling post-rock of closer "Constellations" provide a brief respite from all the madness, while there are flashes of humor ("Yabba dabba do one son," in-studio banter, a random Louis Armstrong impression) scattered throughout which suggest they don't always take themselves so seriously. But for the most part, A Flash Flood of Colour revels in a unique, organized chaos, and while it's a demanding and often exhausting listen, it's a call to arms which the flagging U.K. guitar band scene could do with more of. ~ Jon O'Brien

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