They’ve only gone and pulled it off haven’t they? Enter Shikari have shrugged off the flirtatious advances of the majors, stuck to their principles and released their seminal debut album on their own label. What’s more- it’s winging it’s way up the charts with a dizzying pace. Having kept a tight rein over artistic control the St Albans upstarts have produced the albums they wanted to release, and it’s a rib cage rattling, heart thumping, trance explosion from start to finish.
Mix hardcore punk, trance, electronica with a heft dose of attitude and the result is Enter Shikari. They’ve bought together a diverse and well rounded collection of tracks, singles ‘Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour’ and ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner’ stand out from the pack with their almost euphoric rage, surging upwards, winding themselves into angst ridden knots. Rou’s vocals are at time dark, at times demented -but always with that wonderful raw edge. Interspersed with raucous instrumentals, tracks seem to melt into one another, their frayed edges merging into one.
‘Take to The Skies’ isn’t polished; it’s far from perfect with some ropey vocals recording at times, but therein lies the charm. They guys even reveal their sensitive side with the acoustically driven ‘Adieu’ but it seems like they’re merely biding their time before they can crank up the adrenaline again. ‘No Sssweat’ is old school punk, with more than a nod to Refused coming through at times.
‘Mothership’, the download only first single, is a wrecking ball of vitriol, with Rou growling out lyrics, whilst the rest of the album meshes effervescent trance with biting, spikey guitars, a combination that makes their live sets explosive. Have them managed to cage their live sound into a studio album – well, yes – to a point. But no matter how raw and unfettered this album is, Enter are a band that come alive on stage, and take it to another level when faced with a packed-to-the-rafters venue.
With their fusion of trance and hardcore, Enter Shikari look set to dominate this summer with an ever growing list of festival slots. It’s refreshing for a debut album to actually live up to the hype and buzz proceeding it, ‘Take to The Skies’ is an in-your-face showcase of a band that are injecting new life into the British music scene.