Enter Shikari are a post hardcore band from St Albans, formed in 2003. The back consist of 4 full time members, singer Rou Reynolds, lead guitarist Liam ‘Rory’ Clewlow, bass guitarist Chris Batten and drummer Rob Rolfe. Enter Shikari combine post hardcore and various other heavy metal sub genres with elements of other genres such as electronica, drum and bass and occasionally dubstep.
In 1999 the band Enter Shikari was originally called Hybryd and consisted of Rou on guitar and vocals, Chris on bass and Rob on drums. Under this name they released a Epcalled ‘Commit No Nuisance’. In 2003 Hybryd changed their name to Enter Shikari and revolutionised their sound by recruiting guitarist Liam so that Rou could then focus his time on electronics and singing. During 2003 and 2004 the band released three demo EPs which were only available to buy online and through live shows. In August 2006 the band released a video of the single ‘Mothership’ which became the single of the week on the iTunes store. This single was followed a week later by the ‘Sorry You’re Not a Winner/Ok Time for Plan B’ which charted at number 182 on the UK singles chart.
The third single to be released off the band’s forthcoming album was ‘Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour’. It charted at number 27 on the UK singles chart. The band’s debut album, ‘Take to the Skies’, was then released on March the 19th 2007, it contained re-recordings of many of the songs that had been released on the EPs and demoes that were released prior to the album. During March 2007, it was announced that the band would play stages at Download Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, Glastonbury and Oxegen Festival in Ireland amongst others. Also in 2007 the band announced a UK headline tour that consisted of eleven dates, this also contained their biggest headline show at the Brixton Academy in London where they played to 4,921 people.
This UK headline tour was followed up by a headline tour of North America and a number of shows in Australia and New Zealand as part of the Big Day Out Festival.
It was confirmed by NME that Enter Shikari had been working on their second studio album, Common Dreads, during March 2009 and they also announced that the band would embark on a UK and Europe headline tour during 2009. On April 15th 2009 ‘Juggernauts’ was played on Radio 1 as part of Zane Lowe’s ‘Hottest record in the world’ and the single was released on June 1st. Common Dreads was released through Ambush Reality, a record label that the band created themselves, on June 15th 2009 and debuted at number 16 in the UK top 40 album chart. The album received good reviews including a 5 star review from Kerrang! Magazine. The album was followed by a October/November North American tour as well as dates at the Australian summer festival Soundwave alongside bands such as A Day To Remember and Architects. The band then continued to tour Japan with A Day To Remember as a support band for their Homesick tour.
On June 14th 2010 Enter Shikari announced that they had returned to the studio to record a one of track called ‘Destabilise’ which was then released as a download on the 26th of October 2010. During June and July 2010 the band took part in the well known US festival Vans Warped Tour as well as headlining Redfest in the UK. Following this the band performed at an exclusive show at the venue Underworld in Camden, London. This show was filmed and then released for DVD under the name ‘Live From Planet Earth’. After this Enter Shikari had a long run of live shows that included supporting 30 Seconds To Mars on their ‘Into The Wild Tour’ and touring the US as part of the ‘The Dead Throne Tour’ with bands such as The Devil Wears Prada and Whitechapel.
On September 8th 2011 the band announced the first single on their ‘as yet untitled’ third album would be called Sssnakepit. The single was released on the 20th of September 2011. Sssnakepit received good reviews including being played twice in a row on Zane Lowe’s show as the ‘Hottest record in the world’. A leak from UK Magazine Rock Sound revealed that the bands third studio album would be called ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ and would be released on the 9th of January 2012, although due to shipping issues the band moved the release date back to January 16th. On December 5th 2011 the band posted a studio version of ‘Gandhi Mate, Gandhi’ to their Youtube and Facebook pages, it was also broadcast on Zane Lowe’s Radio 1 show.
The band released their third studio album, ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ on the 16th of January 2012 and played three album release shows, tickets were randomly given out to people who had pre ordered the album. At the end of the first week the album had reached number 4 in the UK album chart. The band began their first tour of ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ on March 10th 2012, the tour consisted of dates across mainland Europe and the United Kingdom, ending with a sold out show at the Hammersmith Apollo in London on the 23rd of March. Soon after the band took to America on the for a 7 week tour their. During summer 2012 the bands also played a variety of festivals as well as a main stage appearance Reading and Leeds festival.
Studio Album – Take To The Skies (2007): Mothership Sorry You’re Not A Winner/Ok Time For Plan B Anything Can Happen in the Next Half Hour Jonny Sniper Compilation – The Zone (2007) Studio Album – Common Dreads (2009): Juggernauts No Sleep Tonight Zzzonked Compilation – Tribalism (2010): Thumper DVD – Live From Planet Earth (2011) Studio Album – A Flash Flood of Colour (2012): Sssnakepit (2011) Gandhi Mate, Gandhi (2011) Arguing With Thermometers (2012) Warm Smiles Do Not Make You Welcome Here (2012)
Ambush reality is an independent record label co- owned by the members of Enter Shikari, it was created in 2006. The aim of the record label is to record, produce and release Enter Shikari’s music and no one elses. The band decided that, in order to tour the United States, they must join a major record label in America, in turn Ambush Reality joined Interscope Records (an American record label founded in 1990). As of June 21st 2011 Enter Shikari’s releases in North America and Canada are released via independent record label, Hopeless Records.
Take to the Skies: Take to the Skies received positive reviews from the critics scoring a 9.1/10 from Ultimate Guitar, with them claiming that “Take To The Skies is a compelling combination of post hardcore, metal and trance, the result of which is a raw, uplifting album”, and an 8/10 from NME. Common Dreads: Common Dreads, unlike Take to the Skies, has split critics down the middle. Ultimate guitar rated the album 9.3/10 with the album also receiving a 5K review from Kerrang! Magazine. Although the album has its critics, Digital Spy, giving it 3/5, claimed that the album was “hit and miss” whilst Pete Paphides of The Times described it as “a titanically inadvisable mash- up between Gallows and John Craven’s Newsround”. A Flash Flood of Colour: A Flash Flood of Colour received generally good reviews, for example Absolute Punk stated that “A Flash Flood of Colour is daring, thought provoking, and utterly unpredictable, making it the first bold record of 2012 and Enter Shikaris defining moment”. At Metacritic, a website which assigns a average score after combining many different reviews, the album received an average score of 75/100, based on 13 reviews, which indicates “generally favourable reviews”.
I feel that Enter Shikari are a perfect example of how to combine elements of rock and roll with aspects from different genres. The huge guitar riffs, found in the rock genre, alongside drops from the dubstep genre allow the band to have one of the most electrifying live performances I have watched to date.
Enter Shikari have claimed that the influences for their music come from the bands that they saw live when they were younger, in an interview with Kerrang! Rou said that the main influences were “bands such as Flatline, Incoherence, Aconite Thrill, Cry for Silence and many more”. As the band grew older the band started to listen to more hardcore punk, bands like Sick of it All and Bane influenced them to play the music they did, with Rou saying “their gritty vocals and brutal riffs giving such an energy its hard not to storm around the room shaking your fist while listening to it. There is such an obvious passion that they take in it that we admire so much”. Rou Reynolds also stated that The Prodigy were another band that influenced the way the band turned out. The full interview with Rou and Liam can be found here: http://www.kerrang.com/blog/2010/02/enter_shikari_week_day_3.htm l
In a interview with the Independent Rou said that one of his biggest lyrical influences was The Zeitgeist Movement (A global nonprofit organization founded in 2008. It advocates the abolition of money and private property, and promotes a global socioeconomic system in which all resources would be equitably and commonly shared) he says that this movement inspired him a lot whilst writing their third studio album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’, this is linked to their political standings which I will cover later on in the powerpoint.
As I stated earlier Enter Shikari use electronic equipment such as synthesisers to change the sound of their instruments as well as some kinds of programming to make music, these are used alongside instruments associated with the rock and roll genre such as acoustic drums and electric guitars. For this reason I feel that Enter Shikari spread themselves across many genres, the main one being the rock and roll genre, that me and my group have chosen to study, but others consisting of electronica, dubstep and occasionally drum and bass.
Enter Shikari are known for voicing their opinions very well during live performances and even albums, lets take their newest album as an example. The album ‘A Flash Flood of Colour’ has many songs that link back to things they do not like about the government. The album kicks off with the opening track ‘System’ which is all about a system, in this case the UK government, which is floored in many ways. The next track ‘Meltdown’ is all about taking back what is ours and standing up to what we think is wrong, this song also links back to the Zeitgeist Movement, mentioned earlier in the powerpoint, with lyrics like “countries are just lines drawn in the sand with a stick”.
The song ‘Arguing with Thermometers’ is the next one to have a significant meaning on the album, this song is all about the international fight over oil, within this song they are saying how wrong it is and that what they are doing should be stopped. This can be seen from the opening verse which goes like this “This is an expedition, Into the Arctic tundra! This is a sickening mission, Yeah! Just to spoil and plunder!”. Despite all of this the band have stated that the album was not government motivated.