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Senser - How To Do Battle

Senser, How To Do Battle

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

SENSER’S loud new album How To Do Battle is described as a cry for disaffected youth, bitterly disappointed and cynical liberals and everyone in between.

Produced by Neil McLellan (The Prodigy), Jason Wilcock (The Ghost Of A Thousand, Reuben) and New York hip hop producer Scott Harding (Wu Tang Clan, New Kingdom), it threads massive grooves, crushing guitars, delicate soundscapes and in-yer-face raps to create a loud, opinionated abomination.

It’s not entirely terrible, but it’s not great either. Songs assume an unrelenting quality that feels very much like an assault on the senses. And its name begins to feel more and more apt the longer you listen, as its confrontational approach eventually becomes [battle] wearying.

Songs like Lights Out are particularly obnoxious, featuring shouted vocals predicting that “millions will die” and frenzied, heavy guitar riffs that come at you like wailing machine guns.

After a deceptively placid opening in the form of the brisk You’re On Fire, first single Resistance Now explodes to life and bombards the senses with its Rage Against The Machine-style riffs and lairy lyrics, which owe much in style to confrontational Prodigy. The chorus, meanwhile, chants “resistance, resistance” to dizzying effect… although it’s one of the better tracks on the LP.

A synth charge and Red Hot Chili Peppers/Rage Against guitars and bass combine to appealing effect on Brightest Rays, another highlight, which also weaves a female set of vocals in and out of Heitham Al-Sayed’s pumped up rantings.

And Sandhurst In Zero G also finds Kerstin Haigh taking more of a vocal lead, to more appealing effect… albeit with similarly powerful guitar thrusts.

But with the majority of tracks, such as the battle cry of 2 3 Clear, or the dance-floor threatening End Of The World Show, Senser get on the wrong side of your patience and their unrelenting, confrontational approach begins to get tiring.

Good, even impactful, in small doses, Senser’s How To Do Battle eventually winds up sounding and feeling as unwelcoming as a bomb-scarred battlefield.

Download picks: Resistance Now, Brightest Rays, Sandhurst in Zero G

Track listing:

  1. Wake Up You’re On Fire
  2. Resistance Now
  3. Brightest Rays
  4. 2 3 Clear
  5. Dictator Bling
  6. End Of The World Show
  7. Smoking Paranoia
  8. Sandhurst In Zero G
  9. So Refined
  10. Hex
  11. Fairytale
  12. Lights Out
  13. Arturo