Senser - Schematic
With the sad demise of One Minute Silence political rock rap lots a truly important band. The news that Sense have reformed with their original line-up couldn't have come at a better time. With so much apathy in today's society and the violence and political contradictions it's vital that we welcome back Senser with open arms. Let us not forget that in 1995 such radical music could reach a mainstream audience when their "Stacked Up" album reached No.4 in the UK album chart. Thankfully age hasn't mellowed Senser one iota. The music still packs a punch and "Schematic" is an album relevant to the twenty first century.
The British Rage Against The Machine specialize in uncompromising in your face rap with heavy guitars, bass, drums and electronica. This comes across most succinctly on "Silent By" which has the mantra "I won't sit silent by". Heitham Al Sayed's tough vocal dominates with female vocalist Kerstin Haigh putting in a tremendous input with her versatile approach. It's a bit bleak, but full of sweat, tears, emotion and a lot of conviction.
"Formula Milk" has a funky bass line from James Barret and an almost cockney rap (bit like The Streets if he read Socialist worker) and his delivery is fast and furious. "Return To Zombie Island" takes it's time until the immediate guitar hooks take over. The lyrical overload is overwhelming, but the Eddie Van Halen style guitar solo makes up for it. Menacingly serious when you hear "Are we doomed to repeat? Open up and you might feel". "A Conscious War" on the surface is just sampled voices set to music, but when those voices belong to Maynard James Keenon and intellectual philosopher Noam Chomsky, you listen very carefully to their points of view.
"Schematic" has been well worth the wait mixing politics with rock, rap and sampling isn't easy to achieve but Senser have the intelligence and experience to do this genre of music the kind of justice it deserves.
Nicholas Paul Godkin
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