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SENSATION (Buy CDs by this artist)
Kagada (Slovenian Sazas) 2005

With the exception of Trbovlje's Laibach, Slovenian rock hasn't really enjoyed much international success. And there's little danger of Sensation doing anything to change that. Their idiosyncratic novo-metal may be of comedic or anthropological interest but nobody with even a modicum of taste will find much of value in Sensation's endeavors.

Other than a drawing of a man having sex with a sheep, Kagada's packaging reveals little to the non-Slovene speaker. And while music is an international language, it doesn't communicate anything especially compelling in this case. The sonic blueprint is a misguided hybrid of Primus and Rage Against the Machine, with progressively more incongruous elements thrown in for good measure as the record persists: ska, cartoon soundtrack fodder, circus music, a suggestion of Eastern European folk, faux-Soviet drinking songs and rudimentary techno. Particularly intriguing are the vocals, which oscillate (inexplicably) between Napalm Death-style cookie monster and something that sounds like Beavis rapping. Presumably, this schizoid approach is intended to suggest the demonic; "moronic" comes more readily to mind. Sensation appear to be rebelling against something, but they never really get beyond non-specific teen angst. The reggae travesty "She's a Dick" delivers incisive English-language political commentary: "Something is wrong with the world today / Future seems to be coloured in gray / Humanity is not forever to stay / Poverty is making all children crying / Wars everywhere make people dying / There is no future for us in this form / We won't be saved by some kind of giant / God is his motherfucking name / But I hope the mind will come into game." On "Gondvana," a sub-metal stomp with muted trumpet, scratching and game show/cocktail interludes, Sensation offer traditional folk wisdom, counseling listeners that "Millions of stings can kill even a boar." Indeed. "Licka Dicka" degenerates into a sort of Cossack sing-along, in which the vocalist warns against over-analyzing his lyrics: "There is no sence [sic] in any of my words / For misunderstandings do not pull your swords / Don't try to find any hidden sence / So all yall people just drop your pants." It only gets worse after that, as Kagada bottoms out with "Golden No Teeth," which could be a standoff between Keith Emerson's massed prog keyboards and Crazy Frog. So much for the New Europe. It may be purely coincidental that, in one of the languages of Old Europe, Spanish, cagada (loosely) means "pile of shit."

[Wilson Neate]