Watch Enter Shikari's Acoustic Paste Studio Session

The UK rockers play songs from new album "The Spark" in rare stripped-back setting.

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Watch Enter Shikari's Acoustic Paste Studio Session

For the past 10 years, Enter Shikari have built a reputation as one of Britain’s most aggressive, futuristic post-rock bands with a unique blend of hardcore guitars, electronic elements, dub rhythms, rapping and punk-inspired politics. That’s why the band’s recent visit to the Paste Studio in New York, where they played three songs from their new album, The Spark, was a special treat: Not only did they showcase another side of their sonic abilities, they also revealed the rawness and vulnerability behind their lyrics.

The setting seemed opportune, since The Spark (which came out Sept. 22) is something of a departure for Enter Shikari. Like many of their releases, the new songs are infused with political undertones, but now instrumentation and dynamics shine through with more clarity, and Rou Reynolds’s impressive vocal range, from his baritone to his underused falsetto, is better utilized. The album exposes the quiet behind the loud. “What we tried to do in this album is marry the personal and political quite heavily,” Reynold explained. “There’s a lot of laying oneself bare in this album, a lot of not being afraid to show human vulnerability. I think that’s innately political.”

That vulnerability—both on the album and as Paste—pays off many times over, providing space for the lyrics and artistry to take centerstage. Listen a softly emphatic “Take My Country Back” (with the great refrain, “I don’t want to take my country back, I want to take my country forward”) below.

With five LPs under their belt in just under 10 years—including three in the Top 5 on the UK charts—Enter Shikari are ready to take the next step with their expanded palette. “I wanted to really push myself,” Reynolds said. “As a songwriter as well, [I wanted to] show that we can be up there with the big boys and join the lineage of big British bands that have influenced us over the years.”

“We’ve played in various stripped-back formats before,” said guitarist Rory Clewlow. “And we’ve done a couple of bits where it’s been all acoustic instruments. But this is the first time we’ve really done something of this kind of set up.”

Watch Enter Shikari light up Paste Studio with “Rabble Rouser” and “Live Outside” off The Spark, and check out their tour dates throughout Europe and North America in the coming months.

16: Liverpool, UK (Echo Arena)
17: Cardiff, UK (Motorpoint Arena)
18: Nottingham, UK (Motorpoint Arena)
19: Newcastle Upon-Tyne, UK (Metro Radio Arena)
21: Manchester, UK (Victoria Warehous)
22: Birmingham, UK (Barclaycard Arena)
24: Brighton, UK (Bighton Centre)
25: London, UK (Alexander Palace)
29: Amsterdam, Netherlands (AFAS Live)

1: Luxembourg, Luxembourg (Den Atelier)
2: Paris, France (Elysee Montmarte)
3: Cologne, Germany (Palladium)
5: Hamburg, Germany (Mehr Theatre)
6: Copenhagen, Denmark (Amager Bio)
7: Berlin, Germany (Huxleys)
8: Warsaw, Poland (Proxima)
9: Prague, Czechia (Lucerna Music Bar)
11: Vienna, Austria (Arena)
12: Munich, Germany (Tonhalle)
13: Fontaneto Di’Agogna, Italy (Pala Phenomenon)

19: Austin (The Mohawk)
20: Dallas (Trees)
22: Orlando (The Social)
23: Fort Lauderdale (Culture Room)
25: Atlanta (Terminal West)
26: Carrboro (Cat’s Cradle)
27: Richmond (Capital Ale House)
28: Washington D.C. (9:30 Club)
30: Cambridge (The Sinclair)

2: Brooklyn (Music Hall of Williamsburg)
3: Philadelphia (Union Transfer)
5: Montreal, Canada (Theatre Fairmount)
6: Toronto, Canada (Lee’s Palace)
8: Columbus (A&R Music Bar)
9: Chicago (Metro)
10: St. Paul (Amsterdam Bar & Hall)
11: Winnipeg, Canada (Pyramid Cabaret)
13: Calgary, Canada (Commonwealth Bar)
14: Edmonton, Canada (The Starlite Room)
16: Vancouver, Canada (Imperial)
17: Seattle (Neumos)
18: Santa Cruz (The Catalyst)
23: Los Angeles (El Rey Theatre)
24: Santa Ana (The Observatory)
25: San Diego (The Irenic)
27: Phoenix (The Crescent Ballroom)