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Album Review // ENTER SHIKARI ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’

Sometimes you put on a new album and think “okay, that was nice.” Then you put on Enter Shikari’s newest release, Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, let the bedlam of conflicting genres and eloquent social commentary seep into your brain, and think “whoa.”


Enter Shikari Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible 2020

It’s not often that you hear an album that seamlessly transcends and blends genres as Enter Shikari have done with their latest release Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible. From raucous guitars to dubstep breakdowns, rousing orchestral pieces to outrageous synth-pop, they have created something incredibly chaotic – but it works.

The 80s are back en vogue and their influence does not escape Enter Shikari. Several tracks like the pressure’s on. and the massive pop-punk tune Crossing The Rubicon feature energetic synth and blazing guitars. The latter speaks to “casting your die”; being bold and courageous and to stop looking backwards. It is an incredible uplifting tune with a catchy hook to keep you humming for days. With soaring vocals and an infectious refrain, satellites* * bolsters the already strong pop-side of the record.

The grungy, heavier nature of lead single { The Dreamer’s Hotel } combines many of the best attributes of this Enter Shikari endeavour. Dirty distortion and spoken word lead into a spirited chorus that is impossible not to bounce around to. Like most of the pop songs on the album, it is ridiculously cheerful and enjoyable. Similarly, the critique on modern living…. comes to life through a blend of vintage alt-rock guitars, an anthemic chorus, and alt-rap. Throw in some dubstep wobbles and you get a chaotic story about today’s cultural ideals.

Further exhibiting their chops, T.I.N.A. is a club banger with heavy-hitting bass and electronica. Ironically using a phrase coined by Margaret Thatcher, “There Is No Alternative”, Reynolds sings “I see through you Tina” to point out the cracks in modern capitalism. This is a common thread on this album, which can also be heard through the compelling storytelling on Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings) and Marionettes (II. The Ascent). Are you a puppet in someone else’s show?

Unexpectedly, the City of Prague Symphony Orchestra recorded an arrangement by George Fenton (of Planet Earth/Blue Planet fame) titled Elegy For Extinction for this album. As active protesters, climate change is a frequent topic for the band. This is Reynolds’ admittedly ambitious way of discussing it. Beautiful instrumentals start off optimistically, swelling into something more robust and diverse with added timpani and horns only to be aggressively brought to a close with panicked strings. A classical piece was completely unexpected, but the story of life on Earth that is told – from the Big Bang to the decimation of wildlife in modern times – is well executed and intriguing.

Elegy For Extinction is far from the only track on Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible that seems out of place yet oddly in line. If you ever wondered what a Tim Burton circus would sound like, Waltzing Off the Face of The Earth (I. Crescendo) can show you. As the title suggests, it steadily builds into a cacophony of carnival brass and destruction that begs us to question our reality and the world around us. It’s their way of saying the world has become a sideshow. Waltzing Off the Face of The Earth (II. Piangevole) revisits the chords and themes in its counterpart but in a brighter way, bringing an almost optimistic outlook to the bleakness in part one. It is a pleasant way to close out a whirlwind record.

For a band that is known for their experimentation, it should come as no shock that this defining album is the culmination of everything they stand for and are capable of. With the release of Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible, it is confirmation that you cannot put Enter Shikari into a box.