Enter Shikari rang in their new album, The Mindsweep, with a series of signings across the country, with the piece de resistance being a pop-up shop in London’s Camden Town. It was a typically Shikari affair: more like a day in the pub or an art gallery showing than a meet and greet. The band were stood about meeting people cheerily, having genuine conversations and signing CDs. A Motown soundtrack floated over the conversations and records, free posters and stickers were dished out.
The event didn’t disappoint, with everyone coming together and having a good old laugh and indulging in some musical discussions.
The Mindsweep doesn’t disappoint either; It’s a slight departure from the standard Enter Shikari offerings, but retains their sharp wit and ‘political’ commentary. ‘The Appeal & The Mindsweep I’ is a cracking opener, compelling everyone to realise the issues we face and reminding us “you are not alone”.
The Last Garrison, a poppier issue from the St Albans four-piece, retains Enter Shikari’s biting realism about the continuing struggle for progress (or ‘the skirmish’) while injecting a glimmer of hope: ‘still air in my lungs, still blood in my veins’ which is a welcome relief from the dreary reality Shikari comment upon.
The album continues in this way, ‘Anaesthetist’ hitting some home truths about the possible privatisation of the NHS, saying what few in the music industry have said (or will say). Combining electronics and heavy guitar riffs like peanut butter and jelly, the band will please fans from all eras with this album.
Special mention goes to the incredible ‘Dear Future Historians..’, a rare love song from Shikari that shows they do quiet as well as they do, well, shouty. The raw emotion and poetic lyrics may see some tears escape, but the ballad rounds off with some classic Enter Shikari guitar mash, just in case you thought they were going soft.
Topping off this masterpiece of an album is The Appeal & The Mindsweep II. With a funkier horn section than basically every jazz orchestra, and a nice Latin end sentiment of ‘Just change the name, the tale is told about you’. Which sums up nicely what Enter Shikari stand for: the normal people, their rights, and the rights of the planet we inhabit. It’s so refreshing to see a band making music on these topics, but also doing it well. If these songs were all about Rou’s girlfriend I’m sure they’d still be corkers, but the fact the band are intent on spreading positive social messages through their funky horn section gives me a little more faith in the human race.