Rap Rock has always been a very yo-yo type of genre. Some get it perfectly right, knowing how to execute it with passion, style and rhythm like Rage Against The Machine or the Beastie Boys. Then there are some acts such as Kid Rock, who get it hideously wrong and bring shame upon the whole idea of rock and rap ever being allowed to fuse together. It is a tightrope and one that doesn’t have much leeway when it comes to being a star or complete flop. Senser are a band still practicing the above art, with a few added twists and they have been relatively successful at it too. Starting off at the end of the 80’s, Senser have seen their brand of politically charged musings grant them tours with the likes of Moby, Henry Rollins and they have also played many major festivals all over Europe, including this years Download festival.
“End Of The World Show” is taken from their 2010 album How To Do Battle and with a background of better songs behind them, “End Of The World Show” is disappointing and gradually becomes predictable to the point of boring. Electronic beats infused with the familiar rapper and singer set-up and a band behind strumming, plucking and banging away at their instruments, may have always been the way that Senser operate, but in the present day, with so many bands adopting the same system, something else has to be brought to the table.
Unfortunately with “End Of The World Show”, Senser have failed to do this and by the middle of the track, its easy to predict what will come next. One of the biggest fault’s with “End Of The World Show” though has to go to the rapping skills of Al-Sayed, who whilst impressively fast, does start to sound like Alex Turner on speed by the end, which subsequently takes away the bite and power of the otherwise rousing lyrics.
“End Of The World Show” is a song that does Senser no justice. Boring, plain and outdated, Senser are a band that have inspired a generation, indeed where would the likes of Sonic Boom Six and Enter Shikari be without bands like Senser? But, with “End Of The World Show” they are unlikely to inspire many. They may have a dedicated and loyal following but even some of those surely would agree that Senser have left their better days behind them.
There may still be some gas left in the tank when it comes to Senser and their hardcore fans will no doubt appreciate this song but unless the rest of the newest album How To Do Battle is much better, this London sextet look likely to drift into the category of bands who should of known when to stop, before they tarnished their reputation and tainted their previous success. They may not have been the biggest or best band of their genre, but to go from sharing a stage with certain contemporaries, to watching them years later headline the same festival you are attending, whilst yourselves are demoted to the third stage, must be a large kick in the teeth.
A sign? It may well have been, but in order to get back to their previous state of popularity, Senser will need to start making less tracks like “End Of The World Show” and more like “States Of Mind,” or they will spend the rest of their career in the shadows of much more popular and creative bands, old or new.
Original article first appeared on Altsounds website on 21/08/10