Enter Shikari helped to write the soundtrack to multiple summers during my teenage years from 2012 to 2017. So as any ‘Elder Emo’ would understand, passing up the opportunity to review their latest album would be likely to cause a ‘System…Meltdown’ to my serotonin levels and FOMO.
A Kiss For The Whole World is the 7th Studio Album from the 4 chaps hailing from Hertfordshire since the bands debut in 2007. The name for the album was simultaneously released with the single ‘(Pls) Set Me On Fire’ (Track 2 on the album) on the 21st January 2023 – The album was then released a few months later on 21st April. The band teased us with two more singles from the album to come each month leading up to its release – ‘It Hurts’ (February 9th) and ‘Bloodshot’ (March 9th).
‘(Pls) Set Me On Fire’ starts off with a melodic chorus of vocals that will certainly catch any listener off guard. Beautifully incorporating the electronic-core elements of down-tuned halftime guitar and bubbly synth, it serves the album perfectly as the first single from this album and really raised the question of what Enter Shikari are planning to achieve with full-length release.
‘It Hurts’ brings some more questions to the table, with some higher tempo synths running in the background that no doubt will ultimately bring some fancy footwork to the crowds at their shows. The clean guitar during the intro and the bridge after the first chorus bring some serious Meteora-era Linkin Park vibes which is a very impressive feat for the band to pull off, pushing the boundaries of spoken-word / rapping fused perfectly with breakdowns and distorted dubstep synth.
‘Bloodshot’ brings a darker vibe to the album than the other two singles. The pitched-up vocals and deep, distorted bass drops are a huge homage to fellow country-men The Prodigy and it’s probably one of my favourite things about the album. However, the way they fuse the Prodigy-esque hook with singing and much more melodic synth really is a masterpiece.
The title track and intro to this album marinates you in the electronic instrumentation and signature fanfare that Enter Shikari has embraced since the late 2000’s. Rising build ups that manage to raise your pulse with aggravating screams before crashing into a flurry of kick drums and bitcrusher-esque guitar tones, whilst also incorporating Rou’s ever-gorgeous soft singing voice.
Directly following ‘Bloodshot’ on the album itself is ‘Bloodshot (Coda)’. This is an orchestral interlude and something that Enter Shikari do so damn well. They have an incredible ability to write songs in several different styles or for several different classes of instrument.
Now, would it really be an Enter Shikari without some obscure song names? In true 2010’s emo/metalcore fashion we have some song names for the ages. Names such as ‘Giant Pacific Octopus (I don’t know you anymore)’ and following the theme of Cephalopods either from the Pacific Ocean or Peaceful in nature we have ‘giant pacific octopus swirling off into infinity’. Yeah.
Other honourable mentions on this album are ‘Leap into the Lightning’ followed by the interlude ‘feed your soul’. Both these tracks leading into each other really had me screw faced for the entire 4 minutes and 22 seconds, and I could easily listen to them on repeat over and over. Again, Enter Shikari bring disgusting dubstep/electronic elements that hit you out of nowhere like a double-decker bus as they have done on so many of their previous records.
‘Deadwood’ brings to light Rou’s prudent and poetic lyrics. You can tell how much time and thought go into the lyrics in every Enter Shikari song however the slower pace and orchestral instruments in ‘Deadwood’, accompanied by the occasional agonising scream really help you to understand. Also, the strings at the start are straight out of every horror movie in existence – a really nice touch.
I’ll finish this review by saying Enter Shikari are back, bigger, better and badder than ever. There’s no doubt about that.
A Kiss For The Whole World is out now on SO Recordings / Ambush Reality
Find out more on Enter Shikari’s official website
Review by Kane McEvoy
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