Thursday, August 18, 2011

Enter Shikari By: Ian Albrecht Band Review

Enter Shikari is an electronically influenced/ enhanced, hardcore ‘screamo’ rock band who have received a lot of play on my ipod during this last year.

Enter Shakiri formed in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, in 2003. Since then they have released three albums: their debut, Take to the Skies, Common Dreads, andDestabilise. Their label, Ambush Reality (est. 2006) currently only lists Enter Shakiri in their stable of artists. (The band recently noted that much of their stock was affected by a fire started during the 2011 England Riots.)

The members of the band are: Roughton “Rou” Reynolds (lead vocals, keyboards , acoustic guitar, synthesizers and programming); Liam “Rory” Clewlow (backing vocals and guitars);Chris “Batty C” Batten (backing vocals and bass), and finally, Rob Rolfe (drums and percussion). Their individual abilities and sounds mesh together into a perfect musical blend, similar to the group Story of the Year's members.

As I mentioned, I've been playing this CD consistently since last Fall and I consider each of its songs to be ‘gold’. (A hard feat, given how critical I can be.) Two songs I’d like to highlight (for anyone new to the band) are Mothership and Sorry, You’re Not a Winner.

Mothership has an all round cool, haunting sound combined with unnerving structure; reminiscent of System of a Down. Mothership charted as “single of the week” when released on itunes. It has an unpredictable blend of trance and hardcore. You cannot settle into an Enter Shakiri song, predicting the upcoming melody ‘cause they’ll deliver something totally unexpected.

Sorry, You’re not a winner (my favourite) is simply… awesome – great vocals, amazing guitar, wicked bass, thrashing drums, mad hook, intelligent lyrics and a good mix up of trance electronics. As well, another interesting feature is the band’s incorporation of the audience/crowd. Gamers should recognize this song from 08 NHL’s EA Sportsvideo, and Madden 08.

(Interestingly, Enter Shakiri’s released songs continue to chart high, despite not being released in a physical format e.g. CD or on vinyl. This was purposely done at the band’s request.) Another unusual fact - Enter Shakiri is the second unsigned (by choice) band to sell out a concert at London’s Astoria. Clearly, this is a band we’ll be shadowing for some time to come.

Get Destabilised today - you won’t regret it (you might regret the time you wasted not knowing of their existence).

Here is a sampling of Enter Shikari’s nominations and awards.

2010: Nominated for “Best British Band”

2009: Nominated for “Best Live Band”

2007: Won Breakthrough Artist of the Year

2007: Won “Best Band Live”

2007: Won “Spirit of Independence”

2007: Won Rock Sounds magazine’s poll for “Who’s going to make it?”

2007: Won John Peel Award for Musical Innovation

2006: Nominated for Best British Newcomer

Don’t be surprised if Enter Shakiri’s next release is less synthesizer and more post hardcore. They got our attention by blending two unlikely sounds (trance and hardcore); now wait for them to discover yet another spiraling, uncharted soundscape.

Enter Shakiri's quote: "If you stand for nothing, you will fall for everything."

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