Sense Field Living Outside

After more than ten years of dwelling in relative obscurity, the criminally under-appreciated Sense Field finally got their first taste of success last year when their song "Save Yourself" became a breakout soft rock radio hit and they were invited to open for the Goo Goo Dolls. The gorgeous acoustic ballad was completely in keeping with the band's history of putting gentle numbers alongside their thoughtful epic emo-rock tracks. So it's somewhat surprising that on their fourth official full-length release, the SoCal band has taken a sharp turn back to the aggressive drive of their Building album and even the punk rock of their youth. Although the giant sonics remain, the tempered acoustic guitars and laid-back feel of 2001's Tonight and Forever have been replaced with a renewed and thundering sense of rock purpose. And that's probably no accident. With second guitarist Rodney Sellars on hiatus, the songwriting duties fell to remaining guitarist Chris Evenson and vocalist Jon Bunch to write together like they did in Reason to Believe, Sense Field's hardcore precursor. The result is a disc that might surprise people who discovered the band through their "hit" single. But those of us in the know realise that shifting gears is nothing new to the band who some would accuse of suffering from identity crisis. It's the confidence to do what they want that makes them such a unique band and one that defies pigeon-holing. (Nettwerk)