Enter Shikari


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One of the few U.K. alternative acts to embrace the concept of the remix album, Tribalism is the second companion release from Hertfordshire post-hardcore outfit Enter Shikari. Three years after The Zone provided an alternative to 2007 debut Take to the Skies, their second LP, Common Dreads, also gets the rather generous reworked treatment on 15 tracks which highlight the noisecore band's effortless ability to shift between the worlds of alternative metal and hardcore trance. None more so than on its opening track, "Thunder," which opens with a flurry of '80s console synths, dirty crunching guitar riffs and a Tears for Fears-inspired new wave chorus, before merging into a stream of industrial beats, terrace stadium-chanting and frontman Rou Reynolds' throaty Rage Against the Machine-style vocals. The other new track, "Thumper," is just as schizophrenic, taking in frenetic drum'n'bass, melodic post-punk, and ambient, spacy electronica in just four chaotic but exhilarating minutes. The dance-rock fusion continues on the sole B-side, "All Eyes on the Saint," a prog punk-inspired ode to their hometown's Saint Alban, which appears to borrow the pulsating backing of the Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats," the stop-gap single "We Can Breathe in Space," and a virtuaunrecognizableable cover version of Faithless' club classic "Insomnia," which opts to hold back the iconic synth-stabs until the final minute, and transforms Maxi Jazz's original sermon-like verses into some kind of venom-spittidemon-exorcizingsing riot. Enter Shikari's dance sensibilities are explored further on the eight remixes of just three tracks from their 2009 sophomore. The poppy melodies of "Juggernauts" lends itself best to the idea of the whole project, with Nero and Blue Bear's True Tiger seamlessly adding a skittering drum'n'bass and Magnetic Man-ish dubstep edge, respectively, but LightsGoBlue's ambient dub-techno reworking of "No Sleep Tonight" provides a slightly less frantic and welcome change of pace, while the Qemists turn the same song into an rip-roaring Pendulum-esque rave-rock hybrid. Less essential is High Contrast's remix of "Wall," which differs little from the original; at the opposite end of the scale, Mistabishi's headache-inducing, warped-techno contribution which bears virtually no resemblance to the original at all. Three live tracks, "Havoc A," "Labyrinth," and "Hectic," recorded at Nottingham's Rock City in 2009, showcase the raw intensity of their raucous gigs, but probably sound better in the middle of a mosh pit than in the comfort of your living room. The addition of new and live material proves that Tribalism isn't your average quick-buck cash-in, but with nearly a quarter of the track list devoted to one song, some more variety in the remixes wouldn't have hurt. But the disc is always loud, always energetic, and always charmingly bonkers, Enter Shikari's second stopgap release is another highly charged collection of songs which cements their reputation as the metal scene's premier party band.

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