Friday, December 14, 2007

ENTER SHIKARI, Take To the Skies
Blender, 2007

by Simon Reynolds

Already big in Britain, Enter Shikari bring a fresh twist to the frequently botched dream of rocktronica. Where The Prodigy merged rave dynamics with cartoon punk tantrums, Shikari mesh hardcore’s hacking guitar riffs with trance’s serenely celestial synth-ripples. On songs like “Return to Energiser,” Rou Reynolds's snarled verses give way to choruses that are literally choral--unison vocals whose soaring sustained notes and purity of tone uplift the spirit like sunlight pouring through stained glass. As fervent about dance culture’s hands-in-the-air rituals as punk and metal’s moshing and stage-diving, Shikari have sequenced the album to resemble a deejay mix-CD, with a seamlessness that occasionally feels samey but overall sustains the feeling of altitude and elation. Shikari are all about release achieved through constructive aggression, a credo symbolized at gigs when the singer instructs the crowd to take a break from their balletic mayhem and build a human pyramid. Too bad this domestic release lacks the UK version’s bonus live DVD to convey Shikari’s full audio-visual impact.


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