The boys of Senses Fail have done it once again: They’ve blended distorted guitars, fast-paced drum beats and melodic solos with a screaming voice that talks of violence and drug abuse. Though this may not seem pleasant to the ear, one will find that the many tracks on SF’s sophomore album, ‘Still Searching,’ are surprisingly catchy.
Senses Fail can be placed in a musical genre labeled as ‘screamo.’ This type of music gives emo lyrics a punk tune while sung with a scream.
The first single, ‘Can’t Be Saved,’ is reminiscent of Hawthorne Heights. With a harmonic tune from the lead guitar, this song is pushed by its catchy melody. A substantial portion of the album parallels this track both in its musicality and emo lyrics.
‘We can all hang ourselves / From gold chandeliers / And drink goodbye to all / All the pain and fears.’
One track that strays away from the fast-paced sound and loud volume that SF is known for is ‘Lost and Found.’ Though the lyrics may sound like any other track on the album, the use of a clean guitar opens it up and puts listeners into a rather relaxed state.
Other tracks on the album point to how SF is attempting to vary their music. For instance, ‘Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)’ includes a gripping guitar solo halfway into the song, something their first album lacked. Another example of experimentation can be found in ‘All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues,’ in which drummer Dan Trapp uses an electric drum set rather than his usual acoustic set.
SF was put down for their unoriginality in their first album, and sadly, their sophomore album doesn’t show much improvement. Besides the new set of musical tricks described above, there isn’t a factor that sets SF apart from all the other screamo bands.
The sales of this album will most likely be driven by past fans of SF. Any listener who enjoyed their first album will most likely find this upcoming one worthy of their money.The one factor of the album that may turn prospective listeners away is the lyrics. Many will find that they aren’t able to connect to the violent, R-rated lyrics of every song. Not only are these lyrics questionable in content, but they seem forced and without passion.
What listeners will be keeping their ears open for, though, are the punk-influenced tunes that can be as catchy as any pop song.
If you are a fan of SF or just looking for an album that will get your adrenaline rushing throughout a hectic college day, this might just be the album for you. It will keep you thriving with energy, bobbing your head, playing that air guitar and silently screaming along with lead singer James ‘Buddy’ Nielsen.