Text: Susanne van Hooft
Enter Shikari is probably the most complex band ever. With different musical styles in each song, Enter Shikari cannot be labelled. Indeed, the band has ventured into alternative rock, electronic rock and post-hardcore. And all these styles are often put in the blender, resulting in songs that go all over the place. Many loyal fans were not entirely convinced by the previous album, “Nothing is True and Everything is Possible”, and “The Spark” was also considered too light by some. The single “Bloodshot” sounded rather old-fashioned and electronic, which is quite different from previous works like “There’s a Price on Your Head” or “Sorry You’re Not a Winner”. It seems that Enter Shikari is moving forward with “A Kiss For The Whole World”. Don’t expect a quick bite, this is an album that requires some chewing.
A Kiss For The Whole World starts off with a bang, the trumpet sounds and we are given an old-school Shikari outburst. What a relief! However, we are sometimes caught off guard. Just when you think: hey, this has an old-fashioned feel (“Leap into the Lightning”), the band strays even further off the logical beaten track. With “feed yøur søul”, you can’t help but notice the sound of a pinball machine. With Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, the previous album, the band greeted all the past ones. Each song on Nothing is True… belongs to a particular era in the band’s history. A Kiss For The Whole World also often alludes to earlier songs. “Dead Wood” is very reminiscent of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible because of its 3/4 time signature, but also because “nothing is true” can be heard again in the lyrics. Live Outside” is found in “Giant Pacific Octopus (i don’t know you anymore)”: “I went to live outside”. Singer Reynolds sings “Wait for the Spark” in “(pls) set me on fire” and “Dreamers Hotel” returns in “Jailbreak”.
Three years ago, when their last album was released, the members of Enter Shikari were still in a bit of a search. They wondered if the end of the band had come or if it was just a new phase. Maybe Covid was a good time to rest. Singer and lyricist Reynolds didn’t record any new songs at the time. It was only when Enter Shikari started playing live again that the energy of the audience provided the spark to reignite the musical fire. The song “(pls) set me on fire”, with its slightly less successful chorus, reflects this. With this second half of the band, as they call it themselves, the four musicians seem to have a long way to go. With ‘A Kiss For The Whole World’, Enter Shikari add a new, heterogeneous set to their collection of Wild West songs.