Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Enter Shikari - The Mindsweep Full Review

While The Mindsweep doesn't hit stores in the UK until next Monday, an online stream appeared yesterday and I couldn't help but give it a listen. I'm writing this as I give it a third play through, and it seems to grow on me more on each listen (which isn't unusual for me as I take a while to warm to things generally). However, I came away feeling like it was a pretty good album even on the first listen!

Obviously I look forward to hearing the final form when it is released, as the track changes come across really clunky on the stream. I feel like a bad fan for not waiting to hear it as it was intended to sound...but not really =P I also look forward to being able to read the lyrics as I'm bad at picking things out when listening.
  1. The Appeal & The Mindsweep I - A neat little intro with some spoken word and dramatic build-up. I love the word 'charlatan', so already winning me over there.
  2. The One True Colour - I like the shouting on this one, but too much Chris Batten on vocals. Which I could say for pretty much every track on here...although it's probably no more than on other albums. Like the soft lyrics at the end and the build up after them.
  3. Anaesthetist - I've listened to this track a whole bunch since the video was released, and it's growing on me like mad. Definitely one that's really similar to their older stuff. And Rory C vocals ♥ the way the lyrics are thrown between the guys in some parts sounds great. STEP THE FUCK BACK!
  4. The Last Garrison - Although I've played this song a million times, I still enjoy hearing it. Heavy and dancey at the same time, and a message I can get behind.
  5. Never Let Go Of The Microscope - I didn't like this at all the first time I heard it as it sounds pretty generic. It could be by Faithless or someone like that. But I do like the shouting at the end - WE SWEAR ALLEGIENCE TO NO ONE! Let's face it, I'm here for the shouting and the faster stuff...
  6. Myopia - Definitely a stand-out track. Lures you in softly and then smashes you in the face. The start makes me think of Muse, but I think it's just the higher vocals. The heavier bits make me think of Million Dead, but I think that's just because they're the only hardcore I'm familiar with. And that definitely sounds like hardcore to me. The breakdowns are SO GOOD.
  7. Torn Apart - This was my favourite track on my first listen through, but not so sure now. The verses are reminiscent of System Of A Down in a way, whereas the softer choruses provide heavy contrast.
  8. Interlude - A bit something or nothing, but nice and atmospheric.
  9. The Bank Of England - Bit of a boring one as far as I'm concerned. Nothing really makes it stand out to me.
  10. There's A Price On Your Head - Another more hardcore one, though the shouting is a bit Offspring in places. And who doesn't love shouting about classes?
  11. Dear Future Historians... - Honestly my first thought was that it sounded like Coldplay, although I'm now inclined to liken it to Death Cab For Cutie instead, while the lyrics were vaguely reminiscent of Frank Turner to me initially (if it was played on guitars instead piano it could easily be a really stripped back Frank song). Oh, and it's loud at the end! Unsurprisingly that's my favourite bit.
  12. The Appeal & The Mindsweep II - Had a wee giggle to myself when Sorry You're Not A Winner cropped up, sorry not sorry. Pretty fierce ending to the album that brings it full circle back to the opening track.
Obviously Slipshod slots in on the end here, but sadly is an iTunes exclusive. Which sucks, as it's an amazing song that puts a big smile on face whenever I hear it.

Closing thoughts, the album somehow managed to be both heavier and softer than I had expected. It's definitely not possible to judge the whole album based on any single song from it. So I guess what I'm saying is that you should listen to it...

If I had to put a rating on it, I wouldn't give it more than 7/10. If that. It has its moments, but I don't think I can decide if I like it a lot yet or not. Like, I can listen to it. But it's definitely more in the 'like' zone rather than the 'love'.

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