Part of the Deal

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If Sensefield is punk, then we are all living inside George Lucas' head, where origin determines character and plot.


Reviewed by Aaron Shuman

Monday, November 15 1999, 6:49 PM

If someone can explain to me how emocore differs from Robert Bly's ass-sniffing affirmations of manliness, I'd sure appreciate it. One consequence of the kinder, gentler times we are purportedly living in is that some guys are out to prove they have feelings, man, the way they wanted everyone to know how hard they were several years ago. Often, I feel like putting my hand on an overearnest brother's shoulder and saying, great, man, you have feelings; now use them. Or take that shit out into the street, and see what you can hustle up with it. But most of these feeling men would rather play to congregations of men similarly enflamed, which suggests the cord that binds masculine rage to male feelings. That leaves the ladies to hold our jackets, to nurse us through this painful journey of self-discovery, and to fuck like bunnies, we hope. And if we happen to cross Momma in the process, well, we'll write a very heartfelt song about it.

Back in the day, I helped build a stage in the basement of the rec center, which if I remember correctly, Sensefield christened with their shiny songs, flashy guitars, and smooth dance moves. Then, as now, people tend to describe the band by noting its members were in Reason to Believe. This is understandable when a band first forms from the ashes of the old, less so when the band has been around at least seven years. Yet on this minstrel tour of new feeling, this twelve-step program for the emotional recovery of man, authenticity counts.

The best song on this five-track EP features Jonathan Bunch as a low-rent Billy Corgan, singing dumber lyrics, to music straining for the lush, orchestrated quality of recent Smashing Pumpkins fare. Recall that the Pumpkins, when they first hit, were considered a lamer version of Jane's Addiction, and this latest development cannot be considered evolution. The best that can be said of Sensefield is that each song reminds you of a different band that's kinda cool, which makes Sensefield good fill-in for acts that come to your town once a year, or not at all. With all the attractions their stomping ground Los Angeles has to offer (Orange County, actually, but hey, we're all in the same gang), I wonder how Sensefield developed a fan base. Fortunately, they had something to fall back on.

If Sensefield is punk, then we are all living inside George Lucas' head, where origin determines character and plot. In fact, Sensefield would provide the perfect soundtrack for the next Star Wars movie. No band could better understand the Force or the adolescent throes of Anakin.

Part of the Deal is a grapeOS release 

Copyright © 1999 by Aaron Shuman. All rights reserved.

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