I liken Enter Shikari’s musical adventure and sonic growth to Pitchshifter in a way. Much like how Pitchshifter developed from this Godflesh-style beast and morphed into a techno/electro hybrid with clean vocals, Enter Shikari has taken that baton and run even further in their progression.
Can I use emoji’s in reviews because the surprised/eyes bulging one would be pretty appropriate as they went from Bring Me The Horizon levels of aggression amidst a flurry of manufactured beats and sounds on Take To The Skies to this contained monster that recorded The Spark.
As the atmospheric title track descends like a synthetic blanket enveloping listeners with the nu Shikari sounds, “The Sights” struts in with an instantly likable and equally hypnotic pulse propelled by vocalist Rou Reynolds building to a monumental chorus.
Almost transcending into New Wave and old school ’80’s electronic territory at times (Think a more Pop Gary Numan), songs like “Live Outside” and “An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces” (The latter like a modern “Never Tear Us Apart”) breathe new life into a cherished genre.
Not a band to be pinned down by any specific genre, though, Enter Shikari expand their musical palette greatly within The Spark. There’s the solemn “Airfield” which shimmers and swells until the massive, choral-filled conclusion and “Rabble Rouser” which sounds exactly like it should, combining a plethora of sounds and styles with hip-hop and techno standing out as the chorus takes on a sexy life of its’ own as Reynolds falsetto resembles Justin Timberlake at times. Then there’s “Undercover Agents” which is like some of the best 30 Seconds To Mars stuff of today mixed with The Streets when Mike Skinner was just starting out and hungry for it.
Later on, songs like “Shinrin-yoku” really show off how far the songwriting has come since the “Mothership” days as this drum ‘n’ bass/World hybrid swirls in your headspace until “The Revolt Of The Atoms” enters like the next great James Bond theme with its’ bold sounds almost akin to “A View To A Kill” put through a 21st Century blender.
The Spark is out through P.I.A.S. on September 22nd. Pre-orders in a variety of options are available here but if you like it simple, get your digital on here. For more on Enter Shikari, head on over here.