Enter Shikari return with a volley of creative euphoria for our pick of the week's new releases
Setting the bar since they first barrelled onto the scene in the early 2000s, it’s hard to name a more forward-thinking band than St Albans’ Enter Shikari.
From their scrappy beginnings melding trance and hardcore on 2007’s Take To The Skies, their consistent evolution has seen them push the boundaries of British rock music on each new release, and in 2020 they arrived at their defining sixth record, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible. A landmark effort from a band centred on experimentation, it was lauded by critics and fans alike for its boundless ambition, but once the fanfare died down one question remained: how much further can the bar actually be raised?
The answer is here, and with A Kiss For The Whole World Enter Shikari are still far from hitting the ceiling.
Refining the chameleonic soundscape they captured three years ago with a reignited sense of purpose, a cascade of horns introduce opener ‘A Kiss For The Whole World x’. Vocalist Rou Reynolds chimes in with a declaration of universal love, setting the tone for an album of stark positivity.
The band’s first release post-lockdown – after spending two years unable to write together – it’s an explosion of raw energy. Whether Reynolds is exploring existence in a post-modern world (‘(Pls) Set Me On Fire’, ‘Bloodshot’) or delivering much-needed messages of hope (‘It Hurts’, ‘Jailbreak’), his visceral vocal performances surge with a rejuvenated urgency and passion.
Recorded in an off-grid farmhouse using nothing but solar power, that sense of rejuvenation rings through every moment on A Kiss For The Whole World. From the trance nods of ‘Bloodshot’ to the orchestral flourishes of ‘Dead Wood’ and the spacey interludes that divide the album’s segments, each creative decision feels brilliantly self-aware, dazzling with the grandeur, exuberance, and energy of a band with a new lease of life.
Having dedicated over two decades to evolution, on album seven Enter Shikari are serving up an explosive reconnection to the radiant heart of their band. A slab of sheer bombastic joy from a quartet who simply refuse to settle, A Kiss For The Whole World is nothing short of euphoric.