Sennen’s First Light is a sharp burst of shoegazing electro-pop on Indelabel. This vinyl LP showcases their power to create ornate, almost math-rock, guitar and drum arrangements that still never lose sight of emotive pop hooks. The dual harmonies from Laurence Holmes and Rich Kelleway complete their graceful and uplifting sound.
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- First Light by Sennen
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 24 February 2016
Sennen have been going for absolutely ages (2002 in fact - years before most people were born). The fact that they took their name from a Ride song should give you a ball park idea of where they are coming from. They are shoegaze survivors, playing the kind of music they love whether it is flavour of the month or not. Luckily for them shoegaze is in vogue so what better time for them to release this, their fifth album. The title track and centrepiece to the album opens things up, it would just be a standard piece of spectral post rock influenced rock but for the guitars which intertwine beautifully (one in each ear) before the whole thing bursts into the type of rock finale Mogwai specialise in.
Nothing on the album is quite as long or as ambitious but it's still an enjoyable (ha!) Ride for fans of twinkly post rock. The singer has that feathery Mark Gardner thing down pat but what saves them throughout is lovely instrumentation. 'Still Dark' builds slowly with some gorgeous strings towards the fade - lovely for driving to late at night if you've ever done such a thing. I'd like them to toughen up a bit, poppy tracks like 'Frances' are a little too wimpy for my ears veering close to Field Mice territory and tracks like this are almost a surprise after the opening more structureless tracks.
Sennen's secret weapons are the guitars which sparkle and glisten throughout - the songs sometimes don't live up to the gorgeous sound they make. I wonder whether the singer has ever considered double tracking his voice - I feel it needs thickening a bit.
Overall a pleasant album but I want them to be weirder and stretch themselves a bit as the tracks that do this are the most interesting things amongst this collection.
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