UK crossover veterans Senser have returned with a strictly limited EP that serves as a prequel to the bands upcoming fifth album. This release contains five classic hip-hop tracks covered and given a new spin. One of the original British bands to successfully meld together a classic old school hip hop sound with metal and even some ambient moments, the combination of this together with some fiercely political lyrics has proved a hit with fans ever since.
First up is Public Enemy’s ‘Don’t Believe The Hype’ and as much as I like Senser, this falls a bit flat. The original is a hip-hop standard and the version here just lacks something, it feels like it never really gets going. Erik B & Rakeem’s ‘Follow The Leader’ still plays it a little bit safe although there are the first hints of things starting to liven up, with a nice noisy chorus.
From here this EP takes a wild turn for the better. An inspired cover of LL Cool J’s ‘Mama Said Knock You Out’ with front man Heitham Al – Sayed on fine form with some meaty riffs from guitarist Nick Michaelson backing him up. The London mob revisit Public Enemy again with ‘Channel Zero’ which brings back memories of Senser back at the height of their powers. The EP ends with a storming live version of the Beastie Boys ‘Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun’ which showcases their power as a live act. An excellent way to whet the appetite for the upcoming album.
I was a big fan of their 1995 debut “Stacked Up” and it’s cool to see them still around and on such good form, and despite a bit of a misfire early on, the band more than make up for it and overall this EP is a triumph. They have changed things slightly without compromising their sound and are still comfortable mixing styles and genres. Bring on the appearance at Hammerfest.