In our modern world of music it seems very difficult to come across a band that is groundbreaking original new. There are two main reasons for that; one being a lot has been done in music. The second is that plenty of artists only see what has already been put in front of them. When this occurs they bring nothing new to the table really, it is not necessarily a complete rip off of what other bands do, just the same components done without any signature on it. There is a big fat word we all hear that sums that statement up, that word is generic. Truth be told, when I hear the name Senses Fail
that is exactly what I think of, the same sound you can hear from fifty other bands. Okay, so am I contradicting myself? I already said not a lot of bands out there are spanking fresh. Contradiction no, I would like to think not; more so drawing a line in the sand that cuts off a band that is too generic. But put that aside, because the truth is generic bands can be at least average when they put their hearts into the music. After all plenty of bands are on the stereotypical side and can still write respectable songs; artists like Silverstein, Emery, and even up and comers Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. All of those artists can easily be called standard, yet they are all easy to pull apart from each other as they have there own unique traits and can write convincing material. It seems as though Senses Fails
has half of that down, half being the standard music part.
Yes as sad as it is, the album Let It Unfold You
shows its peak of creativity on the cover art. As soon as the case is open and the disk plays, the imagination seems to disappear. Ok well not the biggest problem in the world, but what is the problem is the lack of passion in the music. You can always tell when a band puts their heart and soul into a piece, even if it is a tad standard. This record is just the opposite of that, as plenty of parts come off as forced; resulting in the album dragging. Vocals are a mix of screaming and singing, both of which are painfully average at best. The screaming is really agitating in the fact that is just thrown into the mix. It comes out plenty of times for accents and a variety of times in breakdowns. The placement is nothing short of expected, after all that is how everyone likes to do it so why should they separate themselves from the pack? Quality wise the screaming is slightly reminiscent of nails on a chalkboard, as its tone is quite poor. The singing is a perfect example of emotionless half of the time. However it does accomplish quite a feat, at times it manages to maintain the emotionless state while going into a whine, not many can achieve that but sadly they do. At the end of the day, the singing creates a dull atmosphere and is hardly pulled up by the music. The only consistent redeeming quality found in the album is the drums, as plenty of speedy rolls and fills come out. Patterns are constantly switched up and while not the most complicated, they keep the listener wondering what is next. It sure is a shame that the same cannot be said for the guitars. Riffs and progressions sound quite bland most of the time. Things are extremely uninspired axe wise and do little to separate themselves from what Taking Back Sunday and Thursday have written in past years. When combined with the vocals, the guitar work feels like the average Joe waking up and just going through the motions, moving for the sake of motion if you will which will obviously cause major issues along with a tiresome record.
Another area where this album suffers is repetition. Often times it feels like a song is around six minutes long when in reality it is two different songs. This occurs during the first few listens or so, but the problem is many will not put it in for a second spin and complete digest the record due to its bitterness the first time around. In reality, I do not blame them as despite the records speed and loud factor, it becomes dreadfully tiring. At least its general bland and emotionless state is captured well as its production is decent. The overall mix is solid as everything is heard clearly, even bass in plenty of situations. However there are times when the balls out screaming and the crystal clear guitar sounds clash against one another and it sounds as though the record is a tad over-produced in areas. This does not occur in all of the songs because similar to most bands, they have their poppy songs with limited screaming. Now with the poppy songs come hooks of course. The lyrics themselves are a bit of the simple side, but hey no harm done there really. There is a slight problem with the hooks though, as I seem to be a fish they just cannot grab a hold of. The bait looks tempting but I have seen it before and am waiting for an upgrade, something tastier if you will play along. That sums up perfectly how this album is; not a total tripe but there is better stuff out there pulled much more convincingly and with unique traits.
In reality, it is very difficult to come across a huge exclusive problem that completely brings the record down. Let It Unfold You
suffers from many problems, problems that others have been able work with, but here the problems just add up. So the vocals are lacking in passion and feeling, solid music would be redemption in a way. That is not the case here however, as the music itself falls into the same weary state as the vocals half of the time. Despite the intense screaming, things still sound drained and lack a persuading state. The overall structure of most of the songs is predictable as sections are easy to foretell and the placement of the screaming follows cliche and consistent paths. What hooks are present come off as feeble and just not powerful enough to pull listeners aboard. In reality, the album’s generally generic sound lacks enthusiasm and as a result comes up quite short of spectacular. But let’s not shoot for the moon when we have not even touched the stars yet, as Senses Fail
have fallen short of average. Usually this is where I would go off on the whole the band needs to go back to the basics spiel, but in this case that has already been achieved. They are doing the basic things many others are doing, they just have not figured out a way to make it convincing in the least bit. Until they solve their basic problems and find their own sound, Senses Fail
will be anything but deserving of the hype and attention they are getting, as this is truly a dreadfully tedious and boring effort.
-Lady in a Blue Dress
(Possibly a vocal highlight, smooth, flowing verses, complete with some memorable drum rolls during the outro.)
Bite To Break the Skin
(One of the decent riffs found here, a nice bass verse, topped off with an above average breakdown outro. They took a riff and did what they could with it.)
-Choke On This
(Nicely done progressions, an efficient hook, and while its bridge is predictable, it is effective.)
Final Rating: 2/5