Friday, January 13, 2023

Senseless Things - The First of Too Many 2xLP - Red Vinyl & Black Vinyl


Cherry Red (2022, Reissue) 

Three bands that I find tend to get mentioned in the same breath a lot (or at least they did back in the 90s) were Snuff, Mega City Four and Senseless Things. I’m sure a lot of that was a result of when they were active as all three were kicking around in the late 80s and early 90s indie/punk scene in the UK. I always felt that Snuff was the most obviously punk of the group. Mega City Four veered more towards the pop side of things but were still pretty rough around the edges for most of their tenure. Senseless Things struck me as being the most polished of the bunch, having punk influences but with a sound that was a little more accessible. I’ve always liked all three, but I have personally listened to Senseless Things the least.

Looking back, I think some of that was due to the production of their records. Even though they were on a bigger label (Epic), something about their records always sounded kind of old to me. A tinniness that wasn’t rough enough to come off as punk rock production, but just made things feel a little thin. It was never a big deal, they just always seemed like there were somewhere in the past even though most of their records were only a couple of years old when I first heard them.

Now we have a reissue of the band’s second album, The First of Too Many, which originally came out in 1991. This double LP reissue comes with two versions of the same record. There’s the original mix done back in ’91 and a new “30th Anniversary Mix” that takes all of the original recordings and completely overhauls the mix. There’s no re-recordings or flashy studio tricks, they just made the album sound better. 

First off, I do want to point out that I only ever had the CD of this album and the LP of the original mix included in this set sounds about ten times better than my CD did for whatever reason. But that being said, the new redone mix sounds approximately twenty times better than that. I listened to several songs back-to-back, switching from one LP to the next and there’s just a huge difference in the redone version. Everything sounds fuller, the bass is louder and the vocal harmonies are even more harmonious. Whatever secret sauce they used to spruce things up really worked out well. Honestly, I’ll probably never listen to the original mix again now that this new one is out, but I do think it’s really great that it was included for those that just want a nice sounding version of the one they’ve been listening to for over thirty years

The record itself is great. Catchy songs with excellent vocals and enough punk rock propulsion that keeps things moving. Maybe I’ll never be as into them as I am my beloved Mega City Four, but they were a hell of a band and this is a record that really should be added to your collection if it’s not already there.

Senseless Things - The First of Too Many:

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