I know all about the powers of social control,
So find another pigeon for your pigeon hole.
Burn my body, sell my name,
Hang me high in the hall of fame.
Senser were the sort of band who always seened to be knocking around about eighth on the bill at festivals, always seeming to go down okay but never quite busting through to the next level. I vaguely associate them with legions of crusties – did you have crusties elsewhere in the world? well we had them in the UK in abundance in the early 90’s.
- Take 1 middle-class (or higher) student – preferably named jeremy, Sebastian or Cynthia.
- Add matted dreadlocks (usually much to the disgust of great-aunt Jemima)
- Wear black jeans, or combats, with either a long, faded, sometimes ripped T-shirt.
- Stick a straggly, long jumper – grey, or red, over the top.
- Sprinkle with Dr Martens boots (bonus points for painting flowers on them)
- Shit facial hair was compulsary for men-folk.
- Garnish with a handful of facial piercings and/or unsubtle tribal tattoos.
- Add recently-acquired liberal conscience (warning: expires after 3 years)
- Half-bake in university for 3 years listening to The Levellers*, Neds Atomic Dustbin, Ozric tentacles and The Wonderstuff.
- Serve liberally at festivals.
Does that sound unkind? well they used to get in my way at gigs and they all had an air of, ‘So you’ve been to school for a year or two / you think you’ve seen it all’ – slumming it amongst the commoners before they shaved their heads and got jobs in daddies’ firm, or with one of his golf partners at least. They were watered-down vanilla versions of the anarcho punks of the 1980’s the sort of terrifyingly hardcore people who used to follow Crass around.
But anyway, my early 90’s prejudices aside, I always thought of Senser as a bit of a crustie band and so I was rather surprised on Youtube to see that they weren’t at all, and in fact I could have spared you all that rant – in fact I’ll leave myself a note to delete it all apart from the first sentence, so you will basically never have read this at all; any of it.
Music? ah yes, Senser’s little moment of genius from 1993 was Eject – a really good rap/rock hybrid; stop all your post-Limp Bizkit yawning and just remember how damn exciting a mix of elements this was. Now in the case of ‘Eject’ we’re more at the Slayer end of the spectrum than the Aerosmith end. This was extremely angry and well-written protest music – protesting against, well, stuff like the system and stuff. If Senser lacked a clear target they made up for it with venom**, I mean excuse the language I’m about to print here readers, but I am only quoting the original, and I believe you are all mature enough to take it,
Don’t pull the wool over my eyes, you wool-puller
I hear your tone, I know exactly what you’re full of
Brilliant! I own 1600 records now^ and I would be willing to bet that this is the only one which contains the term ‘wool-puller’ as an insult, or indeed at all. I think more rappers should substitute the Mother word with wool-puller, I think there’d have been far fewer fatal beefs – just a theory I have.
But anyway ‘Eject’ references William Burroughs’ ‘language is a virus’, amongst other things and is one of my favourite singles from the whole era. The ‘Over Zealous Mix’ of Eject on the 12″, is by far the better of the two – the original just sounds a little tame in comparison. The other track, ‘Don’t Lose Your Soul’, is much more run-of-the-mill and as such probably explains why I couldn’t remember ever having played it.
Senser are still going today but apart from a version of Public Enemy’s ‘She watch Channel Zero?!’ they released as a single, the rest passed me by. I still listen to Eject a lot though.
Now, just got to remember to delete all that nonsense about crusties and click publish.
*in the slightly superior way I have sometimes, I particularly enjoyed the sight of 1000 identically dressed crusties shouting out along with the band, ‘There’s only one way of life / and that’s your own, your own’ – you’re wearing a uniform dudes.
**easy metalheads, that’s venom with a small ‘v’; not the evil/vile North-Eastern Gods of discordant black metal.
^the re-issued Blade Runner soundtrack was number 1600 – cheers Jhubner73 !