Posted on by Oran

Following the wake of COVID and a bout of writers block, St Albans Electro/Screamo Pop Rockers Enter Shikari return to form and are firing on all cylinders on album number seven.

Imagine it. You’re a globally successful band, huge following and very often your tours are sold out, you are just about to release your sixth album and most likely have the next two years or so mapped out, more world tours, headline festival slots and the like… and then like the rest of the planet, we hit pause not knowing when we will unpause.

This is what happened when Enter Shikari released ’Nothing IsTrue & Everything Is Possible’ back in April 2020, a few weeks after the whole world grinned to a halt.

Shikari frontman, Rou Reynolds has recently been quite vocal about how he was uninspired to create any music for the best part of 18 months during the bulk of lockdown. As much as they are a very polished studio band, they really shine in the live environment and he has gone on to say he didn’t see the point in writing anything if he was not able to perform it, so to have this element of our creativity taken way from you, I understand exactly where he was coming from.

But COVID is so last year, and Shikari are back with a bang with their seventh offering titled ‘A Last Kiss for the Whole World’.

Starting off with a jubilant trumpet and the phrase ‘be embraced billions’ this a song about earthly unity and I’ll bet your bottom dollar the last 14 odd months of the Ukrainian war is a strong contender for Rou’s lyrical content on title track and album opener ‘A Last Kiss for the Whole World’. ‘(pls) Set Me On Fire’ is a catchy number with the electronic elements that hark back to their much earlier material and vocal switches from the scremo verses to catchy sung choruses.

 ‘It Hurts’ is infectiously catchy and bound to be a live staple going forwards. We also have a musical interlude called ‘feed yøur søul’ , laying heavily on their drum n bass talents, almost as if they let Liam Howlett from The Prodigy throw his hat in the ring.

Dead Wood’ and ‘Jail Break’ (no, not that one) are heavy yet catchy bangers, loaded with more electronica and guitar slabbery and huge hooks. ‘Bloodshot’ is a perfect blend of house drum n bass and guitars stomping along as Rou chants ‘my eyes are bloodshot, I’ve seen it all before’ in one of the best songs on the album. ‘Goldfish ~’ is a great example of how Enter Shikari can mix genres that by default shouldn’t work…. But they do. Album closer duo, ‘giant pacific octopus (i don’t know you anymore)’ and ‘giant pacific octopus swirling off into infinity…’ are probably the weakest or less catchy tracks on the album, and ones I already kinda finding myself skipping, but keep an eye out for the Assassin’s Creed easter egg hidden in the first half.

Overall, this is Enter Shikari’s strongest album since 2015’s ‘The Mindsweep’. It’s heavier and more ‘classicShikari sounding than the last few albums and are real return to form.

 It was just a shame the world had to stand still for a couple of years for them to get back to their roots but when something positive comes out from something negative, thats only a good thing.

Welcome back lads. 8/10

D.J. Pennell 2023