If their latest single release is anything to go by, then The Spark is going to be a big fat political statement, once again. Rou and the lads in Enter Shikari have become increasingly involved in writing about society and the future of the entire planet- especially with Trump sitting in office. This latest release is available on silver vinyl LP and on CD.
9/10 Benn Staff review, 20 September 2017
I have been waiting for this for ages. Seriously, I've been checking through the post on the down-low at work hoping for a glimpse for about a month. I'm not too sure if my enthusiasm is shared by everyone in the office though, and I'm pretty sure a few people might not have actually ever heard an Enter Shikari song. I get it, they're a little bit poppy and a little bit 'mainstream', and that can put people off - but, without sounding cliché, I was an original fan. Always have been, and more than likely always will be. When a record like this comes out, it becomes really difficult for me to remain completely unhyperbolical. (Is that even a word? If it isn't, I'm going to do a Shakespeare and just invent it.)
Shikari have released two songs from the record thus far: Live Outside and Rabble Rouser. Both were good, and both have been listened to by my housemate and I at least one hundred times. So I had high expectations for this release from the beginning. In my description I wrote about how the album would more than likely talk about the political events of the past couple of years, and it turns out that it does. For example, the forth song on the record is called 'Take My Country Back'. Hm, I wonder what this could be about? Lead singer, Rou, has a strange gift of being able to bring together fans of different music genres with a shared lust for social justice and left-wing politics under one big phat umbrella. I get such a kick from reading down the twitter feed of Rou and his political rants, because they speak to me. The message at the end of this record is 'does this mean anything to you?' the answer is a clear and simple: yes.
One of my problems when writing a review for a record that I really like is that I tend to get a little carried away. So I'll try and bring it back to something a little readable. Side B. I'm pretty certain that every song on this side of the vinyl is previously unheard - aka no singles. 'Shinrin-yoku' is the first track on this side of the record and about halfway though we hit a massive, almost trance-like, wall of mad drums and emotive electronic sounds. To make this song even better, comes a pretty bouncy breakdown instantly followed by a track called 'Undercover Agents'. I'm not going to say too much about this, because it's probably my favourite track, and this is getting a little too descriptive. (See what I mean about getting carried away with records that I like?).
The final stages of the record begin a little more relaxed, but almost become ballad-like. Again, another thing Enter Shikari are good at doing. There's something about this record that allows you to slip into deep thought about the tragic state of the world, whilst still experiencing those happy nostalgic moments that were found in much earlier releases.
The Spark has managed to keep the old school electro-core/alt-rock sound that we heard in Take to the Skies, whilst still being full of energy and pushing the boundaries of what a band can get away with. I had my doubts about this release, and I sort of feel bad for having them - because this is such a great record. Actually, no. This record is f****** amazing. I'm not even going to cover up how smug I am about writing this review two days before the actual release - the perks of working at a record store, I guess.
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- The Spark by Enter Shikari
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