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Common Dreads CD

4.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Jun. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Ambush Reality
  • ASIN: B00280LOJ6
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,568 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

BBC Review

The sleepily historic Roman city of St Albans isn't exactly renowned for its excellent bands. Trust me, I know - I grew up there. That is set to change with the release of local foursome Enter Shikari's spankingly brilliant second album Common Dreads.

There was a lot to live up to with this disc, released through their own label Ambush Reality. Enter Shikari made it on to the NME's 'New Noise List' in 2007 and their debut album Take To The Skies reached number 4 in the UK charts, going gold in the process.

Luckily, this album doesn't disappoint - in fact it wows at every turn. The mashup of post hardcore and trance is weirdly, unexpectedly good for starters. And there's a huge variety of song, rhythm and lyric styles to enjoy.

What's even better is the positive, inspiring message the group seem to promote. Some songs incite political action (''you can destroy imbalance and change your values'') others are just ridiculously cheerful, with lyrics like, ''it's glorious outside''. It's a refreshing change from the all-too-dirgey ditch rock songs can often sit in.

Though Rou Reynolds' vocals can be screechy in places, the general vibe is great with good vocals, lyrics (''Sometimes I do wish apples were our currency / So your hoarded millions would rot in a vault'') and melodies throughout. Occasionally there are flashes of Linkin Park or The Prodigy, but mostly this is a sound all Enter Shikari's very own.

Highlights are fabulously catchy first single Juggernauts, swelling grower Wall, teenage anthem Hectic with its computer-game-esque melody and the unexpectedly twinkly and lovely Gap In The Fence. The album is packed with anthems too - The Jester is Blur's Parklife for the Noughties. And No Sleep Tonight is a hardcore reply to Faithless' Insomnia.

The only complaint with Common Dreads? It's so short and sweet that when the last bars of Fanfare For The Conscious Man trickle into the distance after less than an hour, you're left desperate for more. Expect the 13 emblems currently sitting in the band's online Fan Tattoo Gallery to swell immediately on release. --Sophie Bruce

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By The Wolf TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
By any standard known to man Enter Shikari are a great little band.

I have already expressed my enthusiasm elsewhere in these venerable
pages for their 2007 debut 'Take To The Skies'. A stunning first showing.

They make a big, big sound but the unbridled energy is always
tempered by a remarkably mature and refined musical sensibility.

The fifteen tracks which comprise their new release 'Common Dreads'
create a veritable powerhouse of crackling, ribald electricity.

With 'Juggernauts' they strike a marvelous balance between
stirring anthemic harmonies, naive but warm-hearted social
commentary and convincingly calibrated hard-edged rock.

This ability to bring potentially conflicting elements together
and produce credible and hugely enjoyable soundscapes is a real gift.

'Wall' is another powerhouse track. Mr Rolfe's drums are, here
and elsewhere on the album, the glue which keeps it all together.

'Zzzonked' delivers a small nod in Prodigy's direction with the
cocky but affectionate knowledge that they are the new kids
on this particular block. Fresh paint on an old facade.

'No Sleep Tonight', not unlike 'Jonny Sniper' on their previous
release, has a killer chorus and a very fine vocal performance
from Mr Reynolds. This lad really can belt out a good tune!

'Gap In The Fence' is as fine a song as we are
likely to encounter for the rest of the year.

It's all good. Nothing wasted. Nothing to throw to the dogs.

Blissfully brilliant !

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Format: Audio CD
In this album Shikari move beyond their first album by miles. The fronts they choose to build on include a greater use of Rou's voice, acoustic, spoken parts, signing, and also the scream/angry vocals. There is a greater focus here on crafting individual songs, they have their own vibe and fill out into the territory chosen for it, for example on Juggernauts there is good use of a different singing style, No sleep tonight focuses on a new musical direction with greater use of synths and programming, with Gap in the fence finally breaking the barrier from Post-Hardcore with Electronics to Enter Shikari stamping their own style on both of these genres and making it their own.

Overall this is not the scream-fest of the last album. Instead pure raw screaming is mixed with a more head smart use of lyrics, topics, vocal impact and overall musical technique. For example Rou's definition of harshness is not just limited to screaming, the electronic parts draw more widely on drum and bass etc and also sampling found in pure electronic music. This effort matches Genghis Tron's effort in its audacity and willingness to embrace all the ingredients and make an unexpected recipe!

This is awesome and will no doubt see a greater abundance of glowsticks and moshing at their next gigs!

See also Genghis Tron, Atari Teenage Riot, Mad Capsule Markets.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is one of my favourites from this band, and I'm still listening to it ever since discovering Shikari back in 2012. This disc has a fantastic balance of versatility between the heavy parts and the softer parts of the album. The songs in order really contrast well and it does a great job of making me immersed in the experience this album has to offer. From the mind shattering tracks such as "Solidarity, "Step Up" "Zzzonked" and "The Jester" to more subtle songs like "Wall" "Gap in the Fence" and "No sleep Tonight". The lyrics are especially powerful. Rou is an excellent lyricist, that keeps an eye on our economy and what is happening to our corrupt government. The guitar riffs and synths sandwich perfectly together; making a very raw and compelling sound. The drums have an excellent dynamic range. Rob does a splendid job with the subtle tracks to the more aggressive and in your face tracks.

Overall, this album is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys the rocky moments of music, to the subtle atmospheric tracks that you'll find on this album.

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Format: Audio CD
Firstly, while I wasn't a huge fan of their first stuff, I did find the songs growing on me and decided I would buy the second album (this one). First thing I noticed if that the guys have gone all political. Shouts of 'we must unite!' echo through the first few minutes and your left wondering if it's all really necessary. To be honest, there are only a few tracks on this album that show enter at close to their best. The Jester for instance, starts off all jazzy but pans out nicely and the only thing close to another 'anything can happen...' is gap in the fence (Maybe if the other songs had more direction this would be more of a stand out). Don't get me wrong, there are genuinely good songs here, but even after 15 'songs' you fin yourself staring at your stereo thinking 'is that it?'. I think it's good that they've decided to branch out into new directions but I don't think that that makes this a compelling purchase (in this case). Fingers crossed this is just a sign of transition rather than them losing their song-writing mojo.
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