Sense of Scenery

New Canadian Music

Release info

Vancouver, British Columbia

The EP features seven tracks that form an instrumental meets electro-rock collective. Green Languages has some good songs, but "Disfigurines" is a real standout; an ambient-stamped track with finespun textures that even channels a little Brian Eno.Green Languages also houses a cover of New Order's "World" that is made available as a free download here. Sense of Scenery is the brainchild of Sean Douglas with assistance from Drew Land (drums).

Kathryn Kyte

Release title: 
Release date: 
August 28, 2012
Total songs: 

Hubbub UK

Sense of Scenery - The Disaster of Imagination

The debut LP from Vancouver’s Sense of Scenery has finally hit the shelves, or is available for download at least. The man at the helm, Sean Douglas (Vocals, Guitars, Bass, Synth, Synthetic Percussion and just about anything else) claims he has a hard time remembering when he started work on the album, “It has probably taken me the better part of two years although I likely started writing in 2006, who knows?” After technical difficulties meant the process became more like three years and four months the wait is finally over. A cacophony of guitar, bass and drums gives The Disaster of Imagination more than a hint of early nineties grunge, mainly thanks to the gravelly voice of Douglas, though some beefy production and the clever introduction of keyboards result in more than a hint of 1980s British pop/new romance. Better start work on the follow up now Sean.

Whisperin and Hollerin, Ireland

Review: 'Sense of Scenery'
'The Disaster of Imagination'   

-  Album: 'The Disaster of Imagination'
-  Genre: 'Punk/New Wave' -  Catalogue No: 'SOSIII'

Our Rating:    
Sometimes, a title just grabs you. Ok, so I'm speaking for myself here, but I can't be alone in experiencing this. Like 'The Brutality of Fact' and 'The Futility of Ignorance,' so 'The Disaster of Imagination' is a title that conjures images and creates expectations. So I'm willing this album to blow me away rather than just be a load of pretentious toss, although even if it doesn't impress, it's still a great title.

Remarkably, Sense of Scenery fulfil and even exceed all of my expectations. Strangely, I find it rather difficult to justify or explain exactly how or why. It isn't as if this is a particularly well produced album, for a start. But perhaps that's why I like it. It takes me back to a time before the Internet when I might buy a record completely on a whim because the artwork or the title caught my attention and looked interesting. Discovering bands without recommendations from others, and without first having read about them or even knowing a single thing about the creators of the music, there was mystery, and nothing to interact with but the music.

So it is with Sense of Scenery. I don't want to know. 'The Disaster of Imagination' is, in spirit, a low-budget post-punk album with analogue production values and new wave (and dare I say it, goth) influenced picked guitar lines. There's a prevalence of metronomic marching drum patterns. The vocals are a pitched around a forced, stretched baritone and not always on note, but it doesn't matter: the anguished lyrics are delivered with expression and emphasis, which often counts for as much if not more than musicality, at least in my book.

Indeed, dissonance is a key element in the formation of atmosphere across 'The Disaster of Imagination', as is evidenced amply on 'Atlantic Pacifics', where the bass, guitar and synths that creep like dry ice over Sean Douglas, tested vocal and pull in different directions to create a disorientating, dark soundscape. Tense and sparse, this album could be twenty, twenty-five years old, and if it was, would be a lost classic.
























There's more than a hint of Joy Division about 'Daylight TV', (appropriating fleeting as it does moments of melody from 'These Days') but it's no polished for the new millennium Editors-style take on the blueprint. It’s as bleak as hell, and it's breathtaking in its stark spatial sonic creation. There are other 'spot the similarity' moments: 'Bird / Eye / View' nabs snippets of vocal and guitar melody from Police's 'Invisible Sun', for instance. Meanwhile, there are numerous elements reminiscent of 'Beaster'-era Sugar. None of this matters one jot. This album has spirit.

As a rule, I always endeavour to review objectively, and will give credit to music that doesn't necessarily appeal to my tastes based on merit and what I consider to be the general appeal of a release. I've no idea who else this might appeal to, but hell, I love this album.

Leicester Bangs, UK

Sense of Scenery: The Disaster of Imagination


Sense Of Scenery - The Disaster Of Imagination (Independent)
I am immediately reminded of the music that followed the explosive 70’s punk movement, the new wave of bands that emerged from the twilight after realizing that dark and morbid were a good combination. Atmospheric, almost regimented music, with the vocals providing a moody coating of seriousness, which the lyrics reflect. The electronic keyboard element combines with angular guitar, a rigid pulsating percussion, and we are in 1984 – the book, not the precise year, mind you. A dark period of make believe life drawn for us by the dark vision of George Orwell. This is an equally dark piece of music, drawn this time by the vision of one Sean Douglas, the SOS mainman. If they remade the film of the book now, he should certainly be called upon to make the soundtrack. Evidence of this is the instrumental “Arielisms”, which captures a mood of murky austerity that is quite unsettling, as well as gorgeous.

Even if we have been here before with the likes of Joy Division and The Sound, Sean Douglas and SOS bring a new shade of grey to the proceedings, coming, as they do, from north-west Canada in the noughties and not north-west England in the eighties.

This is not, however, miserable for miserable’s sake. It is just a dark, strong tapestry of words put to a dark, stern musical set. Listen to it with a touch of optimism if you can, and you will spot some new tilled earth in the furrow that they plough so earnestly.
Kev A.