When hip-hop and rock combined in the 90s, it was like a match made in heaven. Since the two genres intertwined, it's been a staple fusion in music for a long time to come. Much like every genre, however, they evolved. Hip-hop today really has two divisions: trap and grime, while rock has more than enough areas to comment on. There haven't really been many crosses between the modern forms of hip-hop and rock, but Enter Shikari experiment with grime and alternative sounds in The Spark to deliver something interesting.
Enter Shikari have been long known as a band with a pretty loud voice. Angry tirades accompanied by energetic riffs and the occasional dubstep wobbles. What's most surprising about The Spark is that for the first half, most of that's gone. The first half of the record really takes some getting used to, but it progresses in such a way that makes itself more familiar as time goes on. 'The Sights' opens the record on a light note - too light, almost. It has a sort of edge to it that just doesn't seem balanced with the instrumental, though that's where Enter Shikari has always come in. 'Live Outside' settles in a bit easier a slightly rockier pacing, 'Take My Country Back' giving more of a taste of what you'd expect from Enter Shikari.
The fun really starts on the latter half. 'Rabble Rousser' is the heart of the record, both literally and metaphorically. It sees all of Enter Shikari's tropes return to the music, keeping a pretty badass vibe going until the drop kicks in, which throws the track off until you start grooving with it (which will happen). The instrumental starts getting a bit more driven and active in a grime-fashion, effortlessly bringing the two sides of the spectrum together. It's a very interesting combination, but works quite nicely. The rest of the album keeps the energy going, 'Undercover Agents' keeping up an anthemic vibe while 'An Ode To Lost Jigsaw Pieces' filling the quota as the band's obnoxious, dramatic poetry track.
Enter Shikari experiment with grime and alternative sounds in The Spark, daring to do things no one has done before. It's a very promising sound, and hopefully this sparks the gateway to open for a whole new era of music. Even if its not perfect, it's a footing. Time to get things running.
Favorite Track: Rabble Rouser
Least Favorite Tracks: The Spark, The Embers
Rating: 77 / 100
Stream or buy The Spark on Apple Music: