Saturday, June 26, 2010

Senser: Stacked Up (1995)

(As published in the Illinois Entertainer ... )

Stacked Up

No matter what its music sounds like, when a band becomes known for its politics first and its music second, it's suffering from PPMS: Peter, Paul & Mary Syndrome. Senser, who has earned the praise of the British press for "raising" the public's awareness of facism and racism, suffers from PPMS big time. How much more aware of facism and racism can a politically correct person be these days?

Senser has also earned praise for having a female frontperson (Kerstin Haigh), a Saudi Arabian frontperson (Heitham Al-Sayed), and a killer smoke-and-light show. But neither demographic diversity nor visual special effects translate particularly well to CD, so Stacked Up lives and dies by its sound--a pummeling blend of Slayer-esque metal and hip-hop that will have moshers and other sensitive youth dropping like well-swatted horseflies and loving it.

But will sloganeering letter bombs like "What's Going On?" and "Eject" actually rock anyone's vote? Probably not, because with a Saudi rapping so fast that you notice little but the "fuck"s and a woman whose recipe for peace is "Breathe in, breathe out" ("Peace"), the finer points of Senser's worldview--assuming there are any--tend to get lost.

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