By turns exhilarating and maddeningly stupid, the third album by British noisemakers Enter Shikari drowns most of its eclectic charm in a tepid bath of political eye-gouging. "Arguing With Thermometers" morphs from nimble nu-metal screams to slick Maroon 5-style funk-pop to circus-like electronics without sounding forced. But the band ruins this inspired lunacy when singer "Rou" Reynolds interrupts with a painfully awkward spoken-word interlude. Enter Shikari are so obsessed with being taken seriously here that they come off corny and desperate, waving pom-poms at some aggro-misfit pep rally. Still, their music continues to impress: "Stalemate" blooms with harmonies and finger-picked acoustics despite its lyrical shortcomings. — Ryan Reed
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