"Our music will always be written as a response to the world around us," says vocalist Rou Reynolds of UK-based electro-punk-rockers ENTER SHIKARI. "As the music is incredibly passionate, I find it hard to write about frivolous subjects because it'd feel extremely fake if I was running about a stage every night shouting my head off about some girl, or something else as equally mind numbing for the listener."
Proof is in the pudding, as they say, with the release of their new album A FLASH FLOOD OF COLOUR on January 17, 2012 via Hopeless Records. An urgent state-of-the-world address, their third album is an impassioned call to arms, an empowering liberation transmission aimed at the head, heart and hips. It’s an album about community, about love and friendship, about self-determination and self-respect. And if we might be so bold, in simple terms, it’s the first great album of 2012.
Co-produced by the band and Dan Weller (Young Guns, Gallows) in Bang Saray, Thailand and London, England during May/June 2011, and mixed in Vancouver, Canada by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica, Biffy Clyro), A Flash Flood Of Colour is Enter Shikari's follow-up to 2009’s acclaimed Common Dreads. An incandescent snapshot of the modern age – of globalization and recession, repression and protest, commerce and control, activism and engagement – it’s music for a newly jolted generation, a soundtrack for the mosh-pit, the dance floor and the front lines.
"The record is a collection of very individual songs, written over the last few years really," he explains. "They all do share a common theme though, well at least I think so - that of looking at things objectively and scientifically and the sense of empowerment for us all that comes out of that. We feel we simply have to speak out for what is actually important and relevant when surrounded by such a large percentage of art that has condensed itself into soulless, pointless muck, whether it's glorifying violence or propping up a culture of over-consumption and greed."
While politics and world events seem to have a large stake in the make-up of Enter Shikari, it's important to note that first and foremost, the music is what takes centerstage. A Flash Flood Of Colour is 11 tracks of adrenalized, beats-heavy punkrockdubstephardcoremetalambienttechnonoisecore, custom-built to shake foundations. Preceded by first single "Sssnakepit," a mind-melding amalgam of old school drum and bass and thrillingly propulsive distortopunk riffing which legendary BBC DJ Zane Lowe immediately hailed as his "Hottest Record" upon its September release, it's an album which distills the sound and fury of the modern world into a compelling, unified, slamming and utterly vital whole.
"There's so much raw emotion on this record," Rou continues. "'Constellations' contains such an appreciative and sympathetic zest and a basic admiration for life, love and the universe. I believe this is something we've never come close to broadcasting before, at least on such an immediate level. At the other end of the spectrum, 'Pack of Thieves' is lyrically rather bitter and realistic. But it turns that into such excitement and empowerment in terms of what can be achieved as we move out of this era. And the music is some of the most positive sounding we've ever made."
From the stirring wake-up call of opening track "System…" ('Our generation's got to fight to survive...') through to the atmospheric, emotive kiss-off of the aforementioned "Constellations" (both an optimistic signpost to a brighter tomorrow and Rou’s open-hearted ‘thank you’ to the people, books, records and films that have shaped and guided Shikari on their journey thus far), A Flash Flood Of Colour throws up a dizzying, kaleidoscopic range of moods, tones and hues.
"With this record we never sat down and consciously thought about what our intent might be," he says. "As with most things in this band, we just took each day as it came without any specific goals. We're happy with what we were creating so just let it happen and continued from where we left off on Common Dreads. We're a disorganised bunch really, and musically speaking, anything that we manage to pull off, is largely down to luck. Ha!"
Looking forward to next year, Rou concludes, "2012 will mark our first proper headline tour in the U.S. This will be your first proper chance to devour Shikari with all the condiments and fancy cutlery. Indulge!"
Enter Shikari is Rou Reynolds (vocals / electronics), Rory Clewlow (guitar / backing vocals), Chris Batten (bass / vocals), and Rob Rolfe (drums). A Flash Flood of Colour will be released on January 17, 2012 via Hopeless Records.