A Flash Flood Of Colour is St. Alban’s quartet Enter Shikari’s 3rd full length LP and is arguably their most ambitious effort to date taking the their metal/hardcore/trance/dubstep hybrid and pushing the dynamics to the nth degree. The electronics take a much more prominent role on this album, which is not to say the guitars are pushed into the background, but that both elements are equally essential to the structures of the songs.
While Shikari’s debut “Take To The Skies” was mostly a post-hardcore album with some synths thrown in, albeit in a confident and appropriate way unlike the way similar bands such as Attack Attack or Asking Alexandria would sloppily tack on to a song, AFOC is a true hybrid of the rock and electronic sounds, the heavy guitars and fast drumming blend seamlessly with the bouncy synths and pounding dubstep beats. It seems strange that no other band has though of mixing a hardcore breakdown with a dubstep drop and the result is a satisfyingly heavy explosion of noise. Rou’s vocals are eclectic as ever, incorporating shouting, screaming, singing, rapping even a select few spoken word sections.
Sophomore album Common Dreads represented Shikari branching out into new territory and occasionally stumbling over their own ambition, Flash Flood is the band finding their feet and defining the Enter Shikari sound. The political theme is once again present in Flash Flood and is more prominent as well as more focused.
While Common Dreads seemed to be all doom and gloom, sixth form political rhetoric, Flash Flood is more positive and importantly playful about it’s subject matter. Shikari know they aren’t pioneering journalists exposing injustice, but their job is to send a rallying call of awareness to the youth and the lads do so with smirking cockiness and sincerity. The band recognize the growing separation with the youth and the way the country is run and overall apathy to any idea of inspiring change in government and economy. The overriding message of this album is to recognize your surroundings and to know with confidence that with solidarity positive change can be made. On “Pack Of Thieves” Rou defiantly roars “Don’t be fooled into thinking that a small group of friends cannot change the world”. This is the type of music I could see me and my peers blasting as we protest the Tory’s latest move to increase University fees or something (more relevant).
Shikari shine on their quieter moments such as “Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here” where their knack for writing catchy hooks with bizarre lyrics comes into play (“They need to be drowned in condiments and left to ponder sense”). “Constellations” is the stand out track, recalling the electro-acoustic slow burner “Adieu” from “Take To The Skies”, this song closes off the album spectacularly bringing in a personal angle from lyric writer Rou, “Packing the last few shirts into a bloated suitcase…I’m lost so lost you are the constellations that guide me”. This ballad builds to a fist pumping crescendo with the anthemic lyrics speaking of solidarity and a sense of unity with like minded individuals.
Once again Enter Shikari’s unique Electro-Post-Metalcoretrancestephip-rock stylings have earned them one of the best rock albums of the year and with sky high aspirations of changing the world in whatever way possible what could possibly stop them from achieving them. After all greatness often emerges from humble beginnings.
“Fear begins to vanish when we realise
That countries are just lines, drawn in the sand with a stick.”