Enter Shikari are one of very few bands around today who can produce an endless array of music which can satisfy the ears of so many different people. Their eclectic mix of genre-boundary abusing electronic post-hardcore is as much in-your-face as it is soothing. For their upcoming fourth album, Enter Shikari The Mindsweep review, this hasn’t really changed. The only thing that’s changed is that the Rou Reynolds-fronted quartet now has a much wider palette of styles and ideas to choose from than ever before, something which is very much evident on their latest offering.
Album opener The Appeal & The Mindsweep I kicks off with a mix of muted synths and Vocoder vocals as Reynolds’ spoken-word styled vocals appeal for mankind. He does so convincingly with his voice, building up tension alongside jangly guitars and tribal drums. “Now grab life, seize time; this fight is for humankind” he professes before everything gets heavy and epic. As Reynolds’ vocals turn from spoken-word into full-on screams and off-the-wall chants, we’re led into an anthemic mid-section which sees Reynolds, guitarist Rory Clewlow and bassist Christ Batten sing together in glorious unison. As album openers go, this one is quite a memorable musical journey. It segues into The One True Colour, which comes out at you in full force as Batten’s smooth backing vocals contrast with Reynolds’ fierce howls. “To whom it may concern, It feels as though I’m about to crash and burn” Reynolds’ claims in the chorus before more screamed vocals are underpinned by Rob Rolfe’s powerful drums and some subtle electronics. Electronics are a very important part of Enter Shikari, and you couldn’t picture a song without it. As a subdued mid-section comes to an end, Reynolds’ throws himself at you with a rally cry as his band accompany him with the mesmerising refrain “Oh, how rich the soul; how wondrous the upheaval”. New single Anaesthetist follows in what is three minutes of pure anger and resentment at the healthcare system. Rob Rolfe’s simple, slick drum beat accompanies wobbly synths as Reynolds and Clewlow occasionally interchange vocal duties throughout. Its dark, concluding breakdown is preceded by a fiercely shouted “step the fuck back!”, before comeback single The Last Garrison lifts spirits with a rave-ready Drum and Bass section. Cries for morphine and opium are drowned out by massive synths and a sped-up, super danceable outro which will absolutely blow up live. Never Let Go of the Microscope proceeds to slow the pace down by way of a haunting piano melody, as Reynolds namechecks Greek philosophers (Greek mythology is a running theme on The Mindsweep) in order to discuss the application and defence of scientific methods. It eventually morphs into an epic gang chant by its close, with one stark warning standing out in and amongst the mass of gang vocals and industrial noises – “We’ll harness the heat of the sun, and burn you out of fucking existence”.