Nothing makes you feel old quite like the anniversary of an album. It might be hard to believe but this year sees Enter Shikari’s Take To The Skies reach 10 years (!!) since release. Yep that’s right, both it and you have aged a whole decade. In celebration, and in anticipation for the bands performance of the album in full at Slam Dunk Festival this year, we take a look back at the album and it’s place in the alt rock world.
Albums such as Take To The Skies are the kind that often have a big impact of people and often change their outlook on music. This was very much the case for Will Pearce, reviewer at Alt Corner;
“To me, having first discovered this outrageously unique band in my mid-teens, years before the debut of Take To The Skies when recordings sounded a little more raw and performing to a room of not even 20 people, until they dropped the most anticipated album of the year. The dynamics of this album were trend setting, and to this day I have yet to hear another album quite like it. Enter Shikari exploded out of the gates with this record which had them set for life by their own hard work cutting out the middle man by self producing and self releasing their own music. Personally I’d like to see them revert back to a record like this, although it may pale in comparison.”
That hard work and edginess of Take To The Skies is something which has not been lost at all over the last 10 years. The album kicks off with Stand Your Ground; This Is Ancient Land, at only 1 minute 8 seconds long and what an opening it is. That building of anticipation and the slow build of the guitars so simply creates something that you know is just an introduction to something special. These short instrumental introductions are something which many artists since then have included in their records; a short teaser for listeners before the main event kicks off.
Take To The Skies is an album that is full of loud guitars, screaming vocals and that something just a little bit different; one of those, can’t put your finger on it, things. At the time it was something fresh and still 10 years on sounds different to what else is out there within the post-hardcore genre. Labyrinth, Mothership and OK, Time For Plan B are just some of the perfect examples from the album where the band seamlessly combine those expected rock elements with a touch of electro and create that distinctive sound that they burst onto the scene with when they released Take To The Skies.
It’s testament to the bands hard work and passion that the album peaked at number 4 in the UK Top 40 back in 2007. Whilst it is not uncommon in recent years to see more alternative bands gain high chart positions and much radio play, for Enter Shikari at this time and being a post-hardcore band, even now it feels like a real achievement. Alternative music, in line with its namesake, is rarely considered popular or mainstream and for a band to make such an impact on charts in this way must prove they are doing something right.
Looking forward to Slam Dunk later this month, what can audiences expect? Loud music and passionate performance have to be high up on the list. For many it will be a real throwback to youth and stir up memories of days gone by and for others it could be just the beginning of their introduction to the band – and what a way to be introduced.
We certainly can’t wait to catch the bands headline set.