Senses Fail
Still Searching


4.5
superb

Review

by Ian USER (107 Reviews)
December 5th, 2006 | 19 replies | 7,869 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Senses Fail has made a gambit with this "Still Searching"; they lost a lot of fans with "Let It Enfold You" and quite possibly could lose the fans made from that album, or also equally possible they could gain their older ones back. When it comes down to

4 of 5 thought this review was well written

It has been two years since "Let It Enfold You", Senses Fail's debut full-length release, came out. Much has changed; much has stayed the same for Senses Fail. With a new guitarist in the band, the other members hyping his skills, and Buddy Neilson's ever-apparent drinking problem being dealt with, it appears that 2006 may be a year of conquest and redemption for the band. In comes "Still Searching", a concept album very closely based on Buddy's life.

Many fans who loved the band when they came out with "From The Depths of Dreams EP" hated "Let It Enfold You" and vice versa. It wasn't apparent then whether, or not the band was intentionally trying to become more commercial, or just changing their sound up. Well, the answer has been delivered with "Still Searching". An album chock full with the sound that Senses Fail has always delivered no matter what, but reveals that the band is indeed still trying to find it's own niche.

One problem that had always entangled the good moments of "From The Depths of Dreams EP", or "Let It Enfold You" was Buddy's singing. He could be nasal at times and hard to bear, but other times also able to bring extremely melodic moments to the pleasure of the ears. Now Buddy has gained more control over his voice and immensely helped the quality of the music. Senses Fail has also taken queue from AFI's music and more recently Rise Against's by adding in distinctive, background vocal chants. Tracks such as "Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)" and "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" are ambitious and probably not something that people would have expected of the band. Those who know the song "American Death" from the special edition of "Let It Enfold You" now have a slight idea of a lot of songs from "Still Searching", which would be heavier music along with variations in riffs instead of regular chord progressions that are kept to the same rhythmic formula.

It's not all heavy however; there is little screaming to be found on "Still Searching", but when there is it fits perfectly. The greatest showing of Senses Fail's advances is "Shark Attack". It may be short at 2:53, but it is the band's heaviest song yet. The interplay of the drums and guitars is perfectly entwined so that at times one might think Senses Fail was trying to make a metalcore song. Buddy's overlaps the first half of the song with strictly clean vocals, but doesn't alleviate any sense of the song being softer, and then breaks all out with screaming during a surprisingly metal-tinged breakdown (albeit a very predictable one when metalcore is involved).

Nearly the opposite of "Shark Attack" is "The Priest and the Matador". It's interesting to see how "Still Searching" is closed. It almost seems as if Buddy expects himself to eventually fall and in the end fail with his attempt to secure a stable life for himself. The concept of the album shows this by the main character of the album not accepting help from God. Buddy delivers some of the most emotional, impressive vocals of his career. This is the slowest song on the record, but still is experimented with. There's a slow guitar solo in the middle, and then the inclusion of an electric acoustic guitar is also used throughout. When the longest song of the record fades out it's hard to say how it feels other than being quite somber, but also elated.

If "From The Depths of Dreams EP", or "Let It Enfold You" both failed miserably together in anything it was the lyrical aspect of each respective record. Buddy Neilson would often portray violent images in a poetic manner on both, but with "Still Searching" he has looked toward his drinking problem as a resource. Of all songs the most intriguing is "Bonecrusher". There are times where it's plainly obvious what Buddy is singing about ("Drink up, drink up the loneliness"), but then there are times when he could easily be mistaken for singing of a relationship when he's clearly using it as an allusion to relate to drinking ("And I've got romantic ideas, but they're not meant for you. My bed is filled with red roses to show that love is through"). With this, Buddy reveals he has quit, or at least is trying to quit, drinking. The only disappointing aspect of the lyrics is that Buddy has lost his poetic touch and instead headed toward a more straightforward approach with only the inclusion of allusions at times.

To try and compare whether "Still Searching" is more like "Let It Enfold You", or "From The Depths of Dreams EP" is futile because it truly is it's own album. Senses Fail has evolved, but as the album title suggests, is still developing. Weaknesses that had previously plagued the band now have been reversed into strengths. Additions to Senses Fail's repertoire also further the evolving of the group. The group chants and guitar solos make for fantastic as well as fresh. For me, "Still Searching" is a strong contender for album of the year.


Top Songs
-"Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)"
-"Bonecrusher"
-"All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues"
-"Still Searching"

Pros
+Music structure improved greatly over last two records
+Guitar solos
+Guest spot from Ryan of Yellowcard
+Buddy's vocals have improved a lot
+Addition of background vocals helps improve quality of the record

Cons
-Too short
-Depressing at times

Senses Fail has made a gambit with this album; they lost a lot of fans with "Let It Enfold You" and quite possibly could lose the fans made from that album, or also equally possible they could gain their older ones back. Final Score: 4.5/5



Recent reviews by this author
Z-Ro CocaineEmery The Weak's End
Papa Roach Old Friends from Young YearsLinkin Park Living Things
Krizz Kaliko Kickin' and Screamin'Madina Lake From Them, Through Us, To You
user ratings (840)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
Drink up your Loneliness...

guitarhero45 (4)
Senses Fail, All Grown Up...

Understanding In a Crash (4)
...

MrJimmyBrown (4.5)
The third release from Senses Fail doesn't disappoint as the guitars get heavier, the drumming gets ...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Oddsen
December 5th 2006



1127 Comments


Great review. Nice to see you reviewing

Thor
December 5th 2006



10186 Comments


Holy crap Ian's back. :amaze:

ToWhatEnd
December 5th 2006



3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is nice to see you reviewing again. This album was great, and that is saying a lot coming from me since I did not enjoy Let It Enfold You very much.

Big Tone
December 5th 2006



50 Comments


Hey. I liked In Depths of Dreams AND Let It Enfold You. To me, this is similar to LIEY, only doesn't stand out as much.
Nice to see ya return though.

Storm In A Teacup
December 6th 2006



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, it's good to put out a review after such a long time.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
December 6th 2006



16083 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

You need to listen to better music if you think this is that good.

craigy2
December 11th 2006



551 Comments


I've only recently heard this band, and what I've heard so far I like. Good review by the way, it's convinced me to make an effort to listen to more of this band. Nice One

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
December 18th 2006



15732 Comments


Great to see you back in the fold. One more until a hundred.

kd057
January 23rd 2007



1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Cool review. Though, Ryan from yellowcard? He doesn't open the song, The Priest and the Matador.

100percentVitaminC
August 12th 2008



47 Comments


4.5/5? Really?... It's Senses Fail, for God's sake! Good review, though.

"One problem that had always entangled the good moments of 'From The Depths of Dreams EP', or 'Let It Enfold You' was Buddy's singing."

^Absolutely. He has butchered some good songs in the past.
I'm not even cool enough to do the quote boxes :'(

EDIT: Sorry for the disagreement, of the rating, I just, you know, disagree.This Message Edited On 08.26.08

Storm In A Teacup
June 8th 2012



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"You're on drugs!"
"Mom all I want is a Pepsi"

Storm In A Teacup
July 31st 2012



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Damn... I'm not sure I ever proof read my reviews back in the day.

nash1311
August 9th 2012



1754 Comments


You know Garrett was always their lead guitarist right? and there are no guest vocals on this album

Storm In A Teacup
August 9th 2012



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I know there are no guest vocals, but idk about guitarist information because that was long ago and I haven't paid any attention to their lineup. I remember they did change guitarists though.

nash1311
August 9th 2012



1754 Comments


Heath joined yeah. But Garrett was always lead

Storm In A Teacup
August 9th 2012



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I fixed that stuff in the review finally.

nash1311
August 9th 2012



1754 Comments


^ Only thing you missed was you still have guest spot from Ryan in the pro's. cool though man

Storm In A Teacup
March 4th 2013



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Fuck

Thanks tho hah

Storm In A Teacup
March 20th 2013



12712 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Oh Senses Fail you're stealing my heart. Are you going to end up as my favorite all time band? I just don't know but I'm excited for when I find out.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy