For years, Enter Shikari were seen as eclectic weirdos and eccentric outsiders. From their trancey, snarling and scrappy 2007 debut ‘Take To The Skies’ to the more considered assault of 2015’s ‘The Mindsweep’ and the personal pop of 2017’s ‘The Spark’, the St Albans four-piece explored have the noisy extremes of dance, electronic, rock and post-hardcore while tackling politics, climate change and the importance of the NHS.
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‘Nothing is True & Everything is Possible’ brings together every shape that Enter Shikari have ever pulled and slots them together to create their most definitive album yet. It’s a crash course in their unruly genius and all their best tricks – a Greatest Hits waiting for you to learn the words.
But while rooted in the past, it also has an eye on the future. The opening twitch of ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ promises that change is coming, along with unity when it does. “Is this a new beginning, or are we close to the end?” asks Rou before screaming a plea: “If there’s anyone out there, just give me a sign.” Demanding connection over uncertainty, it seems only too fitting in these trying times. The neon rush of ‘Crossing The Rubicon’ also looks forward with hope, referencing both Samuel Beckett and their own history with a nod to debut album track ‘Labyrinth’.
This is a showcase of Shikari at their fearless best. ‘modern living…’ finds moments of joy while waiting for the world to end before being remixed into an industrial-infused whirlwind – all laced with lyrics that only Rou Reynolds could get away with (“We’re Apocaholics, drinking gin and tonics”). It’s the sound of a band giddily skipping through their genreless playground. ‘Elegy For Extinction’ could score the opening of a Disney film, full of serenity and bright colours, before heading into cinematic hyperspace and clearing the path for the two-part epic ‘Marionettes’ – bubbling with both beauty and anger.
Blending philosophy and science with the bloodied, bruised heart of someone who cares about their fellow man, ‘Nothing is True’ offers comfort, reason, familiarity and forward-thinking to give us the soundtrack we need for now. This isn’t the end, and Enter Shikari aren’t giving up the fight.
Release date: April 17
Record label: SO Recordings