Enter Shikari’s sixth studio album gets right to the point with an album title like Nothing is True & Everything is Possible. The album takes on the dichotomy of the Information Age we now find ourselves in, when access to information is prevalent and so is the option to ignore it. Another apt title could be taken from the track, “apøcaholics anonymøus”, a roughly ninety-second theme song sung through synth, welcoming their audience to the dance of the end times. For a generation who is hardwired to daily news of a world being poorly run, from the impending environmental catastrophe to ongoing social policies against the public, the discorded news has been constant, and people have found a rhythm in the disfunction.
Enter Shikari delivers an alternative-punk-rock-political album, injected with vibrant veins of circus theatrics and cyberpunk beats. The pace changes in manic order, somewhat illustrated in the fully instrumental intermission, “Elegy for Extinction”. The classic orchestra parades through a triumphant two-thirds of the song, before the turn for glory descends, simmers, then fades. Similarly, Nothing is True & Everything is Possible does not hold itself to one form. Following the instrumental elegy, the next songs rebound from 90’s alternative rock to the grunge techno of the early 2000s. Enter Shikari bounces between the theatric flair of Panic! at the Disco and the anthems of Angels and Airwaves, with a distinctive British punk core similar to their contemporary, Futureheads.
Politics is the main driver of the album. From the energetic empathy for the LGBTQ community in the song “satellites * *”, to reminders of the tragedies that have occurred in recent years and the media’s role in shifting the narrative. The lyrics, “There’s been a shooting in a Walmart/ So put guns on every shopping cart,” digs up the bypassed story, then shouts over it with an eerie chorus, “Nothing is true/ And everything is possible” crescendoing higher and higher in the powerhouse song, “Waltzing Off the Face of the Earth”.
The issue is not that people are unaware of the problems persisting to this day. It is that they choose to remain uninformed during an era when the information is staring them in the face. Enter Shikari vocalizes frustrations that are not new, but continually ongoing, through quite a few upbeat bangers to dance away the rage. Nothing is True & Everything is Possible does not solve the issues of today, but instead identifies and resonates with a wide group of people who are feeling lost in the present times. The lively and joyful rhythms abundant in their music are thus carefully cloaked in madness, as that’s what feels appropriate in response to the resounding obliviousness from those in charge.