The Last Garrison: Prospect for what’s to come

WHEN asked about first single ‘The Last Garrison’ from their upcoming album The Mindsweep, lead singer of Enter Shikari, Rou Reynolds explains that “life can often seem like a tumultuous onslaught of ups and downs; good and bad; euphoric and arduous. Our circumstances can change in a flicker of an eyelid. Sometimes it’s beneficial to take a step back from everything, and appreciate the honour that we’re still alive”. This statement fully expresses what I feel ‘The Last Garrison’ is all about – the song begins with some placid reverb-laden guitars, as if to lull you into a false sense of security, to then only shatter this tranquility with a wall of sound stocked to the brim with crashing guitars, heavy drum beats and chaotic electronics.

ENTERSHIKARIAs we plow through this onslaught, just before the song changes gear yet again, jumping into a charmingly poppy chorus, Reynolds bellows the lyric “heads up and thank f*ck we’re still alive!” – keeping to the appreciation of the sense of mortality he previously conveyed. Interestingly enough, this all happens within the first 30 seconds or so of the song. Even in this short space of time you come to truly understand what Shikari’s message behind the song is, with the song dynamics helping to cement Reynold’s charged lyrics. “Still air in my lungs, still blood in my veins” is sounded out within the choruses, showing the listeners that Enter Shikari are still alive and kicking and will continue to sing and scream about what they believe in – much to the chagrin of some. Bassist Chris Batten chimes in with “we’re part of the last garrison” perhaps a metaphor against the hardships of life; the twists and turns that occur throughout.

The track ends with a drum and bass switch-up of the chorus that will be guaranteed to get you moving and shaking, and no doubt will be an incredible feat live; charging the audience and amping up the undoubtedly fantastic atmosphere that all Shikari gigs have. Credit goes to all involved with making this song what it is: Enter Shikari; Dan Weller – their producer for The Mindsweep, and their previous album A Flash Flood Of Colour; Tim Morris as audio engineer; and Jeremy Wheatly, who mixed the upcoming album.

I wish I could say this song is example of what’s to come from the new album. However, from what I know of Enter Shikari using their past records as example, there are always songs that you will not be expecting. Lyrically and stylistically they will take turns that you will not expect. For most other bands this would be worrying, but for Enter Shikari it is a welcoming prospect.

Make sure to check back with the December issue of The Courier for an exclusive interview with Enter Shikari.