ALBUM REVIEW: Enter Shikari – Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible

7/10

Enter Shikari

Beyond having a tenacious work ethic evidenced by Enter Shikari’s gruelling 2019 tour schedule (including their War Child show at The Dome) and releasing the standalone single “Stop the Clocks”; Enter Shikari’s strongest characteristic is their ability to adapt and evolve their sound. Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible musically continues to draw newer musical influences including dance, trance, dub and grime whilst also turning to jazz, classical and ska. Lyrically, Enter Shikari continues to be conservatively apocalyptic but this can hardly be used as evidence to charge Rou Reynolds and Co for being myopic. Just look at the news and the current global life setting; an “If You Are Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands” approach would almost feel like a betrayal.

Opening with ‘The Great Unknown’, we are introduced to an instant but quirky and borderline up-tempo cocktail of sounds reminiscent of greatest hits Editors, Sash and early Faithless with subtle hard-core guitars.  The apocalypse enters club land and whether “this is the beginning or if this is the end”; listeners will be curious to learn more about this LP.

‘Crossing The Rubicon’ follows sounding like an infectious emo take on Idlewild’s ‘There’s A Place For Everything’ singing how, “Becket said it best”; however, Idlewild sang There’s A Place For Everything” better by drawing influences from David Bowie’s’ ‘Ashes to Ashes.’ Speaking of Bowie, ‘{The Dreamer’s Hotel}’ draws from Bowie’s 1997 ‘Little Wonder’. The screeching and innovative noises collide well with the hard-core guitars with a catchy beat reminiscent of Electric Six’s ‘Gay Bar’. ‘{The Dreamer’s Hotel}’ sees Enter Shikari do what they do best, evoke beauty in the void with lyrics “If love is blind. Hatred is deaf and well-fed”.

‘Modern living….’, “The pressure’s on” and ‘T.I.N.A.’ see Enter Shikari draw from dance, trance and dub influences. Years and Years, The 1975 and Sash influences are present. ‘Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings’) opens with a beautiful jazz-like rendition of Radiohead’s ‘Paranoid Android’ which regretfully becomes sullied with sporadic failed dance and dub experimentation throughout. Elsewhere ‘Satellites’ sounds like a jejune version of Muse’s ‘Thoughts of a Dying Atheist’. Whilst the drumming is infectiously tenacious; the early New Found Glory and The All American Rejects guitars don’t sit well on a sixth studio album.  Nonetheless, penultimate track ‘The King’ uses ska-punk influences as well as Dropkick Murphys punk (minus the Celtic elements) with rap and grime well.

Whilst the dance, trance and dub influences don’t always produce outstanding results; Enter Shikari’s meandering into classical music is the stalwart of Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible. ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)’ synchronises jazz with a glorious brass section producing a glorious sound reminiscent to The Divine Comedy’s ‘The Certainty of Chance’ before exploding into a tremendous cacophonous panic as Dukas’ ‘The Sorcerers Apprentice’ does.

‘Elegy for Extinction’ from the outset awes with classical purity. Despite the ill-fated title, the opening is beautiful and jubilant like Gustav Holst’s ‘Jupiter’. About two thirds in, panic and darkness secretes itself into ‘Elegy for Extinction’ producing a sound seen in the more audible and urgent sections of Holst’s Saturn’, however, Enter Shikari’s sound is filled with more blackness. Playout track ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (II. Piangevole)” opens with sanguine, yet elated calmness amidst some spontaneous static. The trumpets and marching band drumming despite the Armageddon lyrical suggestiveness offers a tranquil inner piece ideal for mindfulness. It is possible that the classically inspired segments across Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible can unite both Enter Shikari traditionalists and classical purists; something few bands, especially a post-hard-core band can be expected to accomplish.

Throughout Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible Enter Shikari prove that there is no excuse for a rock band to be self-contained or be pigeonholed into just sticking to certain sounds and influences. Whilst this innovation did occasionally lead to disappointing results; innovation also saw Enter Shikari triumph in ways the band, fans and critics alike did not expect and has produced some of the greatest songs throughout this St Albans four-piece career.

 

2 Comments

  1. Easily one of the most grating, unreadable, pretentious attempts at an album review I believe I’ve ever seen.
    Some of these paragraphs are an absolute mess of apparent references, comparisons and obscure terminologies clearly meant to impress the reader with the overwhelming “sophistication” of the reviewer, but it comes off as simply laughable. I came to see what the new ES album has to offer and have somehow come away knowing less than when I arrived. Bravo.

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