HomeMusicReview: Enter Shikari, 'Nothing is True & Everything is Possible'

Review: Enter Shikari, ‘Nothing is True & Everything is Possible’

Enter Shikari once released a T-shirt with the tagline “abusing music genres’ worthless boundaries since 2003”, and the band’s omnivorous tendencies are especially prevalent on its sixth release. Nothing is True & Everything is Possible—try saying that five times fast—packs 15 songs into a brisk 43 minutes, running the gamut from rave to post-hardcore to Britpop to rap, often in the same track. While most every song has plenty to offer for longtime fans, the end result is as scattered as the tracklist’s garish text formatting.

“modern living….” cribs from The Verve’s “Bittersweet Symphony” before segueing into the squelching bass grooves of “apøcaholics anonymøus (main theme in B minor)”. “Marionettes (I. The Discovery of Strings)” and “(II. The Ascent)” don’t exactly earn their two-part structure, with the first half succumbing to dated vocal effects and the latter repeating its hooks a few too many times. “Elegy for Extinction” is an instrumental depiction of climate change, it’s the band’s first foray into orchestral music, and it absolutely does not fit the album.

That’s not to say Nothing is True & Everything is Possible is devoid of highlights. Quite the contrary—lead single “{ The Dreamer’s Hotel }” mixes the grimy synths of Common Dreads with the sticky hooks of The Spark to great effect, while “Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth (I. Crescendo)” is a chilling indictment of the dysfunctional times we live in. Third single “T.I.N.A” enchants the ears with just about every facet of the band’s impossibly diverse sound and will surely serve as an incredible live track.

Then there’s the final single “satellites* *”, perhaps the band’s greatest chance at crossover success to date. An arena-filling anthem dedicated to frontman Rou Reynolds’ once-closeted friend and the fears he faced, “satellites* *” is sculpted to perfection. Every part of the song is catchy, to the point where the actual chorus is surprisingly brief:

‘Cause I think it could be love (yeah, I think it could be love)
But I can’t show you enough (but I can’t show you enough)
I wanna burn through the atmosphere, soar like a meteor tonight

It’s a breathtaking glimmer of hope in an otherwise tense album that would have worked perfectly as a lead-in to the album’s coda, “Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth (II. Piangevole)”. Unfortunately the band chose to slot the charged-up second single “thē kĭñg” into the penultimate slot. A stellar song in its own right, “thē kĭñg” ends up feeling like an afterthought.

And that’s the story of Nothing is True & Everything is Possible, really—every time Enter Shikari finds a groove, the band’s ambition shoots itself in the foot.

Rating: 7/10



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