Release date: 19th Jan 2015
The St Alban’s four-piece have been going for 12 years strong, and their fourth studio album The Mindsweep has not disappointed.
The Mindsweep was recorded last year at Chapel Studios in Lincolnshire with Producer, Dan Weller, who also worked on the brilliant 2012 A Flash Flood Of Colour and is another heavy politicised, post-hardcore/ trancecore marvel from Enter Shikari.
Once again Front Man, Rou Reyonolds, dominates this album with his powerful vocals, switching with such ease and fluidity between the softly spoken rhymes and the explosive shouted lines. You can feel the energy of each song build up along side Rou’s vocals, and an entourage of erratic and exciting sounds produced within each song. It is as truly adrenaline pumping as the previous albums, so you know it’s going to be just as crazy live.
The Mindsweep follows similarly in the steps of its predecessors: Common Dreads (2009), and A Flash Flood Of Colour (2012), for being more thoughtful and political in style than their energetic debut album Take To The Skies (2007). But the blatant political digs featured on this album do not seem too overpowering or overwhelming as they have done before so in the earlier albums.
Yes, the album features heavy politicised tracks, particularly The Bank Of England, and the fantastic bass-heavy Anaesthetist, (which funnily enough addresses corruption within the banks, and a tirade against the privatisation of the NHS), but the listener is not in danger of feeling engulfed by it all; each song on this album is able to support itself and without needing too spit out too much jargon in order to prove a point. Some might say that this album is a little more articulate and mature.
The albums 12 songs are wedged in between opening and closing tracks The Appeal & The Mindsweep I, and The Appeal & The Mindsweep II and my personal favourite is Myopia, which sits right slap bang in the middle of the album. It is four minutes and ten seconds of adrenaline building bliss and is initially a slow burner that kicks into action around 1:30 minutes in. Boy will it be an epic song to hear live, with it’s double pedal, riff-tastic chorus that is sure to fire any crowd up.
The closing track is also sure to be a crowd pleaser as it revisits older material from their debut album, and the energetic build up with snippets of big band instruments is a fantastic way to end an album because ironically, you don’t want it to end at all. The final part of this album leaves you wanting more, and more.
Above all, The Mindsweep proves that the band haven’t lost their passion or charm for political activism but are expressing it in a much more sophisticated way, which is why this album is so good.
You are not overloaded and you are not drowning in over-complicated, yet musically catchy arguments, but you are fed enough information to digest, whilst your ears have a grand old time listening too. Enter Shikari are clearly eager to inspire the UK’s younger generations to think about and engage in the UK’s political systems and this album achieves just that.