Crate Skimmers #25 Nü Sensae – Sundowning

“Ok, so we wanna be sponsored by what so far? Beer, a gas station; BP, cause I think it would be easy.”

-Daniel Pitout, interview Discorder May 2012

Owned since: 2012

Genre: Punky noise rock

Where I bought it: Straight from the band on tour

Year: 2012

Label/pressing: Suicide Squeeze

I was cleaning out my attic a while back, since when I moved here I just tossed a lot of junk up there and ran across a bag of band t-shirts I held on to. Which is pretty rare, I used to sell my band t-shirts a lot of the time when bands hit it more big or trade them with friends but this was two garbage bags full of them going from 2009 to 2016-ish. Stuff I don’t fit anymore, honestly, but am slowly making my way back to getting in that t-shirt size again, but it was a flashback to stuff I liked around that time. Blues Control, Meatbodies, Autre Ne Vuet, Times New Viking and maybe the biggest throwback Nü Sensae.

The Canadian duo (later trio) has been inactive for nearly 8 years now, but pop into my head from time to time. Because honestly this was a perfect example of bands I was into around 2010-2012, catchy noise rock on the Hardcore Punk lease and even more points if it hails from Canada or Australia. Nü Sensae hailed from Vancouver and is now mostly remembered for their drummer being Orville Peck, even if that took forever for that to become (still kind of shaded) public knowledge.

Which is a far cry from the sound we hear on Sundowning. Loud noise rock with post-punk and some slight shoegaze influences that just smells of every basement show you’ve ever attended. Where a lot of these bands have shoddy records, which either drown in monotone or a lot of filler, this is honestly like another bunch of Canadian legends said “all killer, no filler”. It just edges on the right side of having a production that is lo-fi but not too grainy which really makes the band’s sound work and honestly bassist/vocalist’s Andrea Lukic yelling still gives me chills.

It’s all extremely pissed off and spirited, which half the time is barely audible through the production or Lukic’s yelling, but the band never shied away about calling the scene they were out on their bullshit. With having a openly gay member in Pitout, which is rare for bands that play this kind of noise rock fueled music, a lot of media coverage of the band went to that at the time and it was great to see them take fan interaction through e-mail Q&A’s to a new level. I wish I still had those, but they’re on a long gone e-mail account.

Even the lyric sheet that comes with the album is written in free hand. So hard to read at times, even more so for the Slovakian lyrics of Tajna, see Tyjna. Honestly, it reaches its goal perfectly with 35 minutes of loud dynamic music that lands in some weird midfield between post-punk, noise rock and punk. There is honestly not a lot more about it, just an extremely solid loud guitar record and honestly it doesn’t need to be more.

It’s a shame it was also their last effort, for sure. Daniel Pitout appeared the same year on the tremendous Eating Out tape, which also spots members of White Lung, and Lukic was in the excellent Heavy Chains for a while, but then mostly went to focus on her design and art work. Guitarist Brody KcKnight was also in Heavy Chains and previously worked with the tremendous Mutators which is a big showcase of the endless who’s-who scene of these kinds of bands.

Even more with how good a live band they were. An extremely loud sound that left no room for breathing, honestly, and was such a welcome sound between the wave of loud bands on records that never really got it right live. Metz was coming up at the same time as Sensea, and they were one of the few bands that really felt like such a loud, overwhelming machine live playing this kind of indie take on noise rock in 2012. Here’s some footage from the second time I saw them on what was to be their last EU tour and the great Far From Home session which really showcases their sound well.

But mostly, this reminds me that while this got quite a bit acclaim when it released it seemingly never comes up these days. Like, I think this was one of the first records I really liked that was released during the time I was really active into music that I saw it happen with, which is such an odd feeling. Music moves extremely fast these days. and most of the good releases from a year barely stick with people. Only the top tier really get remembered, which was always so but through the Internet it feels it moves even faster. The first time I thought about this record recently was because a poster on a forum went “oh yeah Orville Peck was in these bands nobody remembers”. Also Spit Gifting is for some reason on the 13 reason why soundtrack which well is neat.

A positive point, this means the record is dirt cheap to dig up these days. A copy will run you around 6-7 bucks on discogs(welp not anymore, Covid did a number on that it’s more 14-18 nowadays) and if you like loud guitar music I honestly would recommend it as a blind buy.

Slüüt Thüüghts: Spit Gifting is pretty good