Overall Score: 9/10 Originality: 9/10 Riffs: 8/10 Memorable Songs: 9/10 Pros: Wide variety of musical styles | Incredibly catchy Cons: It's over far too quickly
Enter Shikari are arguably one of the flagship bands in the British alternative scene and it’s even harder to believe that 2015’s The Mindsweep is their fourth studio record. Following extensive touring and festival appearances the four piece act from St. Albans are ready to unleash The Mindsweep to the world. But does it live up to the high expectations?
It’s difficult to pin point Enter Shikari’s musical style to one single genre; the band have built a reputation of combining lots of varying elements to make one truly unique sound. The Mindsweep is the product of their experimentation and it makes for one truly enjoyable listening experience. That is the best aspect of this record, there are so many interesting and varying elements of music across 12 tracks that has something for everyone. Anaesthetist combines electronic and dub step elements with a belting chorus that echoes 2007’s Take To The Skies whilst Never Let Go Of The Microscope brings a hip-hop style combined with a perfectly executed relaxed chorus. However the real standout track, The Bank of England, features a lovely combination of intricate guitar play and a soft use of vocals that sends chills down the spine of the listener.
The most interesting aspect with The Mindsweep however is that despite all the contrasting styles across the record, it all blends together nicely without disruption. This is a rare trait to have in a record that contains so much variation and it effectively shows how much Enter Shikari have matured over their musical career. The same applies to each of the member’s performance with a real highlight towards frontman, Rou Reynolds’ vocal performance. Whilst his harsh vocals have been on point since their first record, The Mindsweep features some of his best clean vocals to date. Lead single The Last Garrison is just a singular example of how exceptional Rou’s vocals are, and this is present throughout the entire record.
The Mindsweep is an absolutely fantastic record and it is testament to Enter Shikari’s vice-grip on the British alternative scene. Every track is memorable and unique but the record continues to flow nicely for the listener, and it makes for one truly enjoyable listening experience. The Mindsweep has kicked 2015 off with a bang and if you’ve a faintest interest in alternative music then this record tops the list for essential listening.
The Mindsweep is set to be released on January 19th via Ambush Reality.