Rebellion comes to us in many different forms. As of late, it has come in the form of sitting in large parks in major cities chanting things like “We are the 99%!” Others come in forms as simple as changing your hair color or wearing different clothes. Of course, one huge motivator is the presence of music; either in the forms of large gatherings supporting something to artists or bands going against anything and everything. Even the styles that a band adapts to their own is rebelling against anything that one would find “normal,” and challenges its listeners to stay loyal.
This is where U.K.’s Enter Shikari comes into play. Their off-the-wall style and political hatred puts their listeners into a “ride or die” type of situation; either you back them or you don’t. Though, after listening to their newest full length, A Flash Flood of Colour, it is hard to hate a band who can stretch their musical sound into a lot of different spectrums and still be able to put out a solid album.
A Flash Flood of Colour, admittedly, was my first foray into the rally world of Enter Shikari. The album starts out with “System…,” an electronic heavy rise to arms, which builds into a chant-worthy roll call. This leads into “…Meltdown,” a hardcore-set, and dubstep-influenced flagship song that sets the pace for the entire record. Admittedly, it got me head bobbing instead of banging, which was a welcome surprise for a first time listener. “Sssnakepit” is a fast-paced mosh-making ruckus which has frontman Rou Reynolds play both frontman and MC for a while. “Arguing With Thermometers” is a flows seamlessly from a bombastic metal-dubstep fusion to old school British punk in an instant, making it one of the most accessible tracks on the record. “Gandhi Mate, Gandhi” is a soapbox for Reynolds to stand on, which brings a resounding and amazing epilogue, and some of the most hilariously awesome lyrics I wouldn’t think would find its way here (“Yabba Dabba Do One son, We don’t want you rules”).
As loud as Shikari is on the album, they do take some time to slow it down a bit. “Search Party” starts as a melodic ballad, but quickly changes into a rebellious swan song. “Stalemate” is a triplet laden effort to bring across their message of peace without having to scream it in the listener’s faces. The closing track, “Constellations” is a rather beautiful song spirited with hope, spouting inspirational lines that says “forgiveness is our torch” and “imagination is our sword.”
However as much praise that I have given to Flash Flood, there are some flaws. The last three tracks (besides “Constellations”) go by in a dramatic blur, none of which beats out their previous songs. The album itself, only eleven songs long, goes by rather fast; hitting you hard at first, then lingering on towards the end. And for my take on adding dubstep to the rebel rock? I’m all for it. However, none of the drops or hooks that come in the album will put Bassnectar and other artists out of a job. However, I would LOVE to see Bassnectar remix “…Meltdown” and turn it into one epic single.
All in all, A Flash Flood of Colour is a shot in the arm of the counter-culture music scene. It holds more weight than what New Politics put out about a year or so ago, and songs that would make legends of the rebellious music scene Rage Against the Machine proud. Though it has some minor flaws, the album as a whole is an aggressive wake-up to society; it could make the most partisan government viewer stand up and say “eff the man.”
Final Grade: B+
Go Download: “…Meltdown”