Enter Shikari are a band that have made a phenomenal name for themselves, and with good reason.
With their vocalised view on the world, and their punchy riffs, Shikari have gone from playing tiny pub venues to headlining London’s Alexandria Palace.
It’s no wonder that their most recent album The Spark has been a very much anticipated wait.
Although Shikari have taken a more melodic approach to the new album, the electronic riffs that complete the band are still prominent throughout – and we’re hit with them almost immediately in ‘The Sights’. An upbeat track with a repetitive techno-beat behind Rou Reynolds powerful lyrics. The album starts off relatively strong, already intertwining the group vocals that could fill an arena.
‘Live Outside’ soon follows, the first single that fans heard from the album. A true sing-along, the track holds a message that after another few listens has you hooked to the idea of leading another life outside of the box. Composed with a cheerful beat, we are already settling in to the relatively new path that Shikari have presented to us.
After another punchy track that is ‘Take My Country Back’, the album slows down with ‘Airfield’. A unique track, consisting of Reynolds softer vocals, almost slap-bang in the middle of the album. Although not a weak track, the placement is most certainly interesting, as most bands leave the slow songs at the end of an album. It breaks up the chaos and business of the album for a brief moment, before hitting straight in to ‘Rabble Rouser’.
Presented yet again with a couple of slower songs (‘Shinrin-Yoku’ and ‘Undercover Agents’), we gain an insight in to the more melodic route that Shikari have taken with the new album. Still sticking with what they know in terms of dynamic, electronic backings mixed with heavy riffs, yet mixed in with an array of raw emotions. Maybe not the album older fans had hoped for, but a successful and well thought-out album nonetheless.
‘The Revolt of the Atoms’ comes as a treat as the album picks up again, more of a foot tapping track as the song goes on. A prime example of Shikari mixing up their sound, as the spoken verse contrasts the melodic choruses.
Wrapping up the album with ‘An Ode to Lost Jigsaw Pieces’ and ‘The Embers’, it is clear that The Spark has been a work in progress for a long time. Although not as loud and force-filled as the previous albums, the album itself still has that touch of inspiration that Shikari consistently produce.
The album as a whole miraculously flows together, even with the wide variety of paces. An album to be proud of, Enter Shikari have composed something truly special.