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Sense Field - Under the Radar


I'm definitely in "writing-for-the-sake-of-writing" mode. For one, I spent five minutes explaning the thought process behind this whole thing to my boss, who, as is his wont, proceeded to shit on it. Well, fuck 'im. And fuck a rock star posed picture, like you see above.

I threatened to post something about Sense Field about a month ago. The initial threat took place on a posting of the Fabric 7" on Zen and the Art of Face Punching (which is maybe the worst record I've ever downloaded...ever). Please. Let me explain something. Most of us are either young now, or were young not too long ago. There are a million musical skeletons in our collective closets. You could be Craig Finn or Ian MacKaye or some other god of rawk and you probably listened to some miserable, embarassing shit when you were 17 like E.L.O., 7 Seconds (circa '87), Madonna or the Spice Girls. Hell, Lemmy played for four years in Hawkwind. Well, I was 17 in 1994, and I listened to Sense Field. A lot of it. More of it than was good for me. And I fucking loved them.

I used to bomb around the Maryland/Pennsylvania border, back in '97, up by Conowingo Dam, blasting Building out of the shitty factory speakers of Ben Casey's Jetta. I was young, fer Crissake. I didn't know trite from a hole in my head. They were a pop band...no different from Journey to my ears. And I was stoked for their first record due out on Warner Bros. I waited 3 years for that record, which never came. The label didn't hear a single, or so I was told. And the decision was made 2 weeks before the release date! What the hell was that? A friend of a friend burnt me a CD of the promo that had leaked out. In those pre-Torrent days, this was a true coup. And the record wasn't bad? What was management at the WB thinking?

A few years later, long after the excitement of getting that burnt CD had worn off, I found a promo copy of Under the Radar in the dollar bin at the now-defunct Joe's Music Emporium on Harford Road. So the rip here comes from that. I've never felt so nerdy as to play this side-by-side with Tonight & Forever, the 2001 Nettwerk release that announced Sense Field's return to recorded media. Supposedly, T&F is a re-recorded version of UtR. I dunno...make up your own mind. It's weird to me how eminently forgettable bands who I once loved now sound...

Sense Field - Under the Radar

RIYL: the In-Flight Program sampler, alternative radio in 2002, emo as a slur

Comments

Anonymous said…
Thanks to your impassioned writing, I shall give this a listen. Ta. As an old fuck, though, I'd like to make the point that the more the years fly by, the more you realise there is no "embarrassing" music. If it does something for you, it's good. It's only as a young fool that you care about what's "cool". As you get older, you don't give a fuck; truly one of the best things about ageing. Jesus, the stuff I listen to now... back in the day, I would have laughed at myself like the callow 17-year-old cunt I used to be. Lol. -- Murf
Loopy said…
Your boss will never understand you like we do.
That may be the only thing Sense field ever really had going for them... nobody ever liked them.

I saw them live twice; once where the singer was eating chinese food between songs, and everyone else was checking their cell phones, or otherwise preoccupied, and once when they opened for Dashboard Confessional and a bunch of 15 year olds waited patiently for those old guys to get off the stage.

You don't see that with bands anymore... "We don't want to play and you don't want us to play, but we're a band and that's what we do, so lets just get it done."

Sense Field... a very workmanlike band.
Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for posting this. I loved sense field in my younger days and could really relate to your story. I had some songs off of Under the Radar that I had downloaded with Napster years ago and burnt a CD. I recently found that disc, only to find that I had left off a couple of tracks.

I never understood why Sense Field never caught on in the main stream, but that they didn't almost makes me like them more now.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for this, I too loved Sense Field, brilliant band. Saw them live a few times and didn't check my cell phone once. I've also recentley bought the self titled Solea album, a band comprised of Texas is the Reason, Samiam and SenseField, which would've sat in my CD player for at least 6 months if I was still 17.. as it is... It's pretty good.
Anonymous said…
Wasn't 'Am I A Fool?' on Under The Radar? I have some mp3 of a pre-'Wall of Sound' version, I assumed it was from Under The Radar.

The production on Tonight And Forever is AWFUL. Nice to have less produced version of some of these songs.
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Anonymous said…
i've been looking all over for this. i lost it back in like 99 when a hd crashed and never saw it again. thanks for sharing! this was sooo much better than the nettwerk release.
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Anonymous said…
I grew up with these guys (I mean, actually, grew up with them) and to be honest, they were amazing. I don't think their recordings ever really captured the depth and complexity of their music live, and by the time they got the Netwerk album out, their dreams had been pretty much killed. Sad, since I still think that with a good producer and some guidance, they could have been great.
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