SENNEN – Where The Light Gets In (Hungry Audio)

It’s like busses – I wait for years for a worthwhile local band to champion, and then two come along at once. No sooner had I praised The Sargasso Trio for their individual blend of indie and folk, than we have Norwich band Sennen, who want to reclaim shoegazing for the 21st Century. This is actually their second album, and although I missed the first one ‘Widows’ at the time, having heard it since I can hear that they were a band finding their feet. More practise and live outings have honed their sound so that their second effort is a massive improvement. ‘Blackout’ sets the tone from the outset, with sturdy drumming and MBV guitar drones over which distorted vocals intone the lyrics, before the guitar turns it up a notch for a fractured solo. This first track is so good that I wonder if the band can keep it up, and although ‘Everybody’s Loss’ and ‘Your Hand In Mine’ are restrained ballads in comparison to the sonic assault of ‘Blackout’, the band turn in excellent performances, and Amy May’s violin and viola on the latter add a poignancy to this affecting tune. When the fuzzed out guitars return for ‘Just Wanted To Know’ they are heavier than ever, and while the lyrics here are minimal it does force your attention to the stunning Krautrock rhythms of the track. The title track is a moody atmospheric instrumental, with more than a nod to bands like Mogwai in its piano/guitar interplay, while ‘Sennen Enjoy Life’ shows that the band can give Sonic Youth a run for their money in the experimental stakes. ‘A Lifetime Passed’ and ‘Even Now’ are lengthy pieces, both breaking the seven minutes barrier, but the former is a lovely ballad which fills its time effortlessly, and ‘Even Now’ closes the album with a groove worthy of Explosions In The Sky. Sandwiched inbetween these is ‘Fear Home’, which lulls you in with a soothing first half before it storms to the end with some fantastic riffing guitars. I am afraid that The Sargasso Trio have lost their place as my favourite local band, and if there is any justice then Sennen deserve to be huge. I won’t hold my breath, though, as I know how the music biz works, but with a little exposure in the right places I may well see them in the NME before the year is out.