While any band that mixes heavy metal with rap will draw unfavourable comparisons to jock rock outfit Limp Bizkit and the like, 80s rapcore pioneers Senser are proof that this genre doesn't always have to be toe-curling - although Senser are still very much a guilty pleasure.
'Resistance Now' is the second single off Senser's forthcoming 'How To Do Battle' album, and it's a perfectly balanced mash-up of metal and rap. The jet-black, crunching guitars prevent the rapped vocals from sounding as cheesy as they should, while the high octane rap brings a fury and energy to the hunkering metal riffs. The chorus does tip the balance slightly in the 'cheese' direction, as faux-American accented frontman Heitham Al-Sayed bounces a cry of "resistance!" off female backing chants of "now!" But, it's all so vigorous and enthusiastic, that Senser get away with it - just.
The inclusion of female vocals has a mixed effect on 'Resistance Now.' On the positive, it undoubtedly does a lot to counteract the pantomime machismo usually found in rapcore, and helps Senser to stand out from the crowd. However, Kerstin Haigh's vocals occasionally veer into painfully squeaky territory, and her attempts at an 'impassioned' spoken word vocal are embarrassing. Still, she does a surprisingly good job at rapping - albeit in an American accent (Senser are a South London based band.)
'Resistance Now' is backed up by a remix of '2 3 Clear' off their forthcoming album. The 'Firefarm and Peak Remix' replaces the usual heavy metal with The Prodigy-style alt-electronica and thumping drum and bass beats. While Kerstin Haigh's vocals on 'Resistance Now' may leave you in two minds, here they work brilliantly, as her eerie background warble calls to mind The Prodigy's 'Smack My Bitch Up.'
'2 3 Clear (Firefarm and Peak Remix)' is a furious, politically-charged fusion of driving drum and bass, twisted alt-electronica and mesmerising backing vocals that'll send a shiver down your spine.
Senser's 'Resistance Now' single is an exciting precursor to 'How To Do Battle.' While any band that mix rap and metal may be leaving themselves open to attack, 'Resistance Now's obsession with thoughts of revolution and the inclusion of female vocals, prevents it from sounding like the worst of 90s rapcore and nu-metal bands. And, with Limp Bizkit currently making a nostalgia-drenched comeback, surely there's space for one of the original rapcore bands in your 'guilty pleasures' collection.