Published on September 7th, 2009 | by Denise Borders
Common Dreads Album Review (Enter Shikari)
Common Dreads was my first taste of Enter Shikari, despite it being their second release. I had some friends with similar musical cravings that seemed to take well to them, so I went in with high hopes. As the first track, â€œCommon Dreads,â€ began, I thought to myself, â€œOh manâ€¦ typical metal symphonic opening that is drawn out too long to build up to an inevitable disappointing climax of mathematical riffsâ€¦â€ But this UK four piece definitely surprised me. I donâ€™t normally take well to such a mixing of genres, but these guys have won me over.
A feature these guys have that I really enjoy is a sense of schizophrenia. I like when the music never lets you relax, it keeps you awake and alive to whatâ€™s going on. Bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan, Gwar and The Syncope Threshold do this very well. With tracks like â€œThe Jesterâ€ how can you deny the originality and musical talent of this foursome? â€œZzzonkedâ€ reminds me of something in a creepy, Japanese horror flick, which makes me love it even more. Tracks like “No Sleep Tonight” and “Juggernaut” may have a bit more radio-friendly sound, for those of you who aren’t quite “metal heads” to the max. Many of the tracks have a heavy techno influence, which sounds odd but front man Rou Reynolds pulls it all together very well. I would definitely categorize them as an experiemental band (hence the heavy mixing of genres), but unlike groups like brokeNCYDE, they seem to have some of their dignity left and actually pull it off.Â As Reynolds howls over melodic breakdowns, I canâ€™t help but feel my spidey sense tingle, telling me this shit is alright! A little bit of techno, a few anthematic songs, catchy chords and you have an above average album. Common Dreads persists to achieve the recognition it deserves, and I think Enter Shikari will continue to gain success as a band.
Stay tuned for my interview with the band when they swing through Louisville on their tour with Alesana and The Bled.