Album review: Enter Shikari – A Kiss For The Whole World

Pucker up! St Albans supremos Enter Shikari celebrate life lived loud with irrepressible seventh album…

Album review: Enter Shikari – A Kiss For The Whole World
Sam Law

There is an explosive exuberance at the heart of Enter Shikari’s superb seventh album. In the lead-up to release, the St Albans quartet opted not for a coy schedule of impossible-to-get-into secret shows, nor for a status-underlining run through the grand halls to which they’re now so deservedly accustomed, but instead a looping February/March/April triple-tour of some of the UK’s finest (relatively) intimate venues. As mind-boggling as that seemed on announcement, it makes far more sense when you hit ‘play’ on A Kiss For The Whole World: a record built for sweaty congress that argues (then twice underlines) there’s still beauty out there on our troubled planet.

From the moment the brassy intro and spring-loaded opening riff of the title-track storm through, there’s no fucking about here. That song references the melody from Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, but it’s eclipsed by the defiant, chaotic modernism of (pls) set me on fire. It Hurts turns the album’s clearest hint of melancholy on its head in a cathartic, dancefloor-destroying anthem for the ages.

2020’s Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible is a crucial reference point. Firstly, in how it heightened the mega-vibrant sonic palette continued here. More pivotally, it laid out the mission-statement that AKFTWW is built upon. COVID might’ve curtailed Shikari’s victory lap last time out, and we’ve plunged deeper into conflict and climate crisis in the short time since, but to give up hope is to admit defeat and this emphatic flurry confirms they won’t be lying down any time soon.

Leap Into The Lightning teases a slip into the murky D&B of old but instead combusts as an arms-aloft treatise on how ‘there’s no use waiting for the storm to blow over’. Jailbreak is a pop-rock masterclass that harks back to the more constrained sound with which the lads experimented on 2017’s The Spark before cranking the volume in its final quarter. Then the underwater-obsessed closing salvo of goldfĭsh ~, Giant Pacific Octopus (i don’t know you anymore) and giant pacific octopus swirling off into infinity… reckon on how far this brilliant band have come, and where they’re going, with a rousing mix of fire in the belly and goosebumps on the skin.

As Rou explained to K! this week, the world is a scary place right now: one where it’s increasingly difficult to hold on to happiness. With art as fiercely affirmative as this, though, it’s impossible not to smile in the face of it all.

Rating: 4/5

For fans of: Don Broco, Bring Me The Horizon, WARGASM

A Kiss For The Whole World is released April 21 via SO Recordings – pre-order your copy now. They headline Slam Dunk Festival on May 27 – 28.

Standing Like Statues: The authorised biography of Enter Shikari – is out now. Get your copy.

Read this: Enter Shikari: “There’s always some form of hope ready to be grasped, there’s always a possibility of something better”

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