Shoegazing is alive and well in Britain. Sennen proves this to be true. They bring to the table layered guitars, dreamy moments, breathy vocals, and loud walls of sound. This band really needs a label and a proper release. They have taken it upon themselves to release their very on tracks on a disc called Collected Recordings 2003/2004. This is an eight-track cd that all should try to get their hands on. That being said, lets get to talking about the music itself.
“Just Wanted to Know” begins Recordings with feedback, distortion, and strumming, fuzzy guitars. There is a sort of tribal style beat under rock anthem, slow vocals. This changes to intense, faster guitar with loud bass and drums adding the ride. The song peters out into a quiet moment with gurgling sounds and swirling cymbals, but this does not last long. The silence collapses into a tumult of crazy, chaotic drums and walls of bass and guitar. This changes into a driving sort of wall of sound with the melody floating on top. A very strong and fantastic beginning to these demo tracks. “Next Day” lightens the mood a little with lightly strummed guitars. This slow tempo song has a melancholy feel to it, but it is also bright at the same time. The backing vocals are breathy ala My Bloody Valentine and the lead vocals draw you in with a sort of sensitivity that this song calls for. The guitars whisper on top of one another as the percussion moves longing throughout the song.
“I Knew a Girl” starts with whirling keys and soft strumming of a guitar. This grows into a fuller sound and the vocals really lead this song. They are soft, breathy and have an almost dream-pop feel to them. Eventually, fuzzy guitars come into the build and the beat becomes more pronounced. The build in this song is primarily housed in the complexity of the drums and is so subtle, that it works perfectly. “Open Up My Arms” begins with whirling guitars and a very complex tempo. This track really displays the complexity that Sennen is capable of in their arrangements. The guitar work glitters on top of complex drums and really greats a great wall of jangly sound. “All the Time” is a soft piece that floats the listener along a cushion of guitars. The vocals hold the melody over the sparse bass and drum work. The softness builds and the guitars become thicker and more layered.
“Laid Out” feels like a movie soundtrack in its beginnings. It then transitions to a more dream-pop guitar driven song. This trails off into shimmering guitars and almost has a Police type groove to it. The glittering layers of guitars and the straightforward percussion with the perfect vocals really make this song one of my favorites on Recordings. “It’s Good to Know” begins with screeching guitar and driving percussion. The vox are a tad distorted on this track to create great tension with the loud guitar work. Eventually, the distorted walls give way to a more simplified melody and walls of jangly guitars. This builds and the loud fuzz takes over while guitars play layered on top of one another. The song ends with a sort of rock posture that is uncharacteristic for the band, but interesting nonetheless. “Watch the Skies” rounds out the disc with the strumming of jangly guitar and punctuated percussion once more. The vocals are more breathy and the instrumentation really accents the vox well. This song has some of that rock posturing feel to it, but it is minimal and sort of adds to the build. The big, rock parts are huge and almost angry in their tone, with fuzzed out bass helping with the drive.
All in all, Sennen is a band to look for in the future. Having contributed a stellar track to the Club AC30 series and now with their own demo tracks, Sennen is a band I can’t wait to hear have a proper release through a label. Their shoegaze roots, dream-pop elements, and rock moments combine to make a sound that isn’t necessarily unique, but has all the makings of a great sound. I highly recommend everyone go and listen to the tracks available at their homepage!