Pioneers of the rave/hardcore scene that grew throughout the toilet venues of Britain during the early years of the 21st Century, Enter Shikari quickly became the poster boys for the genre, before swiftly outgrowing it. They bring their intense and unusually eclectic take on hardcore to Oxford when they play the O2 Academy this Thursday.
There is no denying that most people will be aware of the St. Albans based 4-piece through a younger sibling, or a shaky early video still circulating the likes of Kerrang! TV, but underestimate them at your peril. Like all bands that survive the death of a genre, Enter Shikari quickly learnt to develop their sound and their second album, Common Dreads was the surprise rock album of 2009, incorporating elements of jungle, spoken word and dub-step as well as the familiar metal-riffage.
Shikari’s live set has always provided the best portrayal of their sound, with a stripped back setup alongside samples and synths that are triggered live onstage; it’s a simple approach but one that has always created space for an intense and brutal live sound.
Thursday should also bring new tracks from their as of yet, untitled third album and it will be fascinating to see where they take themselves sonically, but whether they focus on the rock, the rave or the experimental this promises to be an excellent set.