ARTIST: ENTER SHIKARI

TITLE: NOTHING IS TRUE & EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE

LABEL: AMBUSH REALITY

RATING: 10/10

WORDS: SEAN HUBBARD

 

At this point it is pointless to try and quantify Enter Shikari into a genre. What can be definitively said however is that they make bangers. Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible takes 2017’s The Spark as the blueprint and then completely expands on it. With everything from post-punk anthems, electronic club bangers, and even a full orchestral track this is the most experimental Shikari album yet – high praise for a band who have been pushing boundaries since 2007 debut Take To The Skies. And yet despite this it is also the most definitive Shikari album yet, with elements of every single one of their previous albums playing an integral role in its creation – the most noticeable of which will be ‘Reprise 3’ which is a continuation of Reprises 1 and 2 from that iconic 2007 debut, updated for 2020.

Despite having a record for incredible album openers with ‘Solidarity’ and ‘System/Meltdown’ in the past, ‘THE GREAT UNKNOWN’ serves as potentially the best beginning to an album yet, with huge singalongs and an incredible piano intro setting the tone for the rest of the album, which keeps up through ‘Crossing The Rubicon’ and into lead single ‘{The Dreamer’s Hotel}, which works even better as part of a whole than it did as a standalone single. If this song doesn’t get the ‘Live Outside’ singalong treatment then it will be a crying shame as those “meanwhile” lines were written to be shouted loud.

“Enter Shikari have long been a political band but with the sheer venom in Rou Reynolds’ voice conveys their distaste of these falsities.”

This brings us to ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)’ which truly delves into the meaning behind Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, meeting fake news head on, with their lyrics attacking everything from flat-earthers to climate change deniers as well as tackling American school shootings. Enter Shikari have long been a political band but with the sheer venom in Rou Reynolds’ voice conveys their distaste of these falsities. This track also serves as opening the tap for stronger subjects, and the subject matter becomes far heavier from here on out – as the next two songs (which serve as one essentially) ‘modern living…’ and ‘apøcaholics anonymøus (main theme in B minor)’ serve as a fantastic soundtrack to the apocalypse – ironic enough considering the COVID-19 pandemic – and suggest that the human race are simply “counting down the hours” until the end of the world.

‘the pressure’s on.’ ‘T.I.N.A’ and the aforementioned full orchestral ‘Elegy For Extinction’ all continue this apocalyptic theme, suggesting that we’re running out of time to combat climate change – a constant thread throughout Shikari albums, with the subject matter being tackled most famously in ‘Arguing With Thermometers’ from 2012’s A Flash Flood Of Colour.

“This is an album for the apocalypse”

It is in the two-part song ‘Marionettes’ that the apocalyptic theme begins to change and become more hopeful, with the marionettes discovering their strings and overthrowing their puppeteers acting as a thinly veiled call for revolution and an overthrow of our tired political system that only serves to make our own puppeteers rich and continues to destroy the planet.

‘satellites* *’ is the most hopeful song on the album lyrically, and is similar to 2016 standalone single ‘Redshift’ in that it is a love song from a scientific perspective, likening the emotion to pelting through space at full speed. ‘thē kĭñg’ serves as the most straightforward song on the album, mainly consisting of traditional instruments with only a bit of that typical Shikari electronics sound coming through, and is the second single released, from the perspective of an overthrowing ruler.

This incredible album concludes with ‘Waltzing off the Face of the Earth (II. Piangevole)’ which is a continuation of the earlier track, and suggests that one day the human race will simply leave Earth behind.

This is an album for the apocalypse, but this is also simply the definitive Enter Shikari album. It combines elements from every previous album, whether they be direct continuation like Take To The Skies reprises or references to previous motifs such as climate change, as well as acting as a clear sequel to The Spark, but now looking back with this record as hindsight it is clear that album was merely a prototype for this. It is at once the most apocalyptic and most joyous Shikari album to date, and as a whole is the most ambitious and experimental project they have attempted – but they have well and truly succeeded in creating something incredible and truly unique.

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