Senses Fail
Hell Is in Your Head


3.0
good

Review

by 0range USER (1 Reviews)
July 27th, 2022 | 30 replies


Release Date: 2022 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Buddy is still the best, and worst, part of this band.

I don't know who is really listening to Senses Fail anymore. This is not meant to be a jab at the band, but more or less a real question on demographics. Between the shift that occurred with Renacer and the way the band has bounced around corners of post-hardcore and pop-punk after 2013, the band's sound hasn't really galvanized in the latter half of their career. When Senses Fail started, they existed in a scene of pop-punk bands that sounded very similar, but despite that, Buddy and Co. held popularity and significance with their fanbase. In 2022, they're sorta in the same boat, but the difference is that they have regressed back to that point rather than having risen to it.

Now I won't pretend to be up to date with their entire discog (I skipped Life is Not A Waiting's last section and never got to If There is Light), but I have noticed they can't quite find their footing in their "new" sound. This is pretty evident in the way that Hell is in Your Head attempts to call back Still Searching in it's concept; whether it's in some of the musicianship or in the way the lyrics vaguely "reference" Still Searching's story, which I'm still attempting to tease out, to be honest.

That isn't to say that the record sucks, but in many ways it's bests moments are bolstered by some fragile songwriting decisions and some pretty on-the-nose lyrics. Further, Buddy's voice has always been an acquired taste, but his cleans are just nasally, even on record. With these two elements you get some pretty interesting results. You might be emotionally wrapped up in a moment when suddenly, Buddy sings "The bees are disappearing," and it just seems that the idea is there but the execution could be better. This is probably the biggest problem with the record, and I'd say the only time it actually benefits Hell is in Your Head is with "Grow Away From Me," which is basically just a love letter to his child. In this sense, the vulnerability is very palpable and the messiness is kind of the point.

Hell is in Your Head is a record, that as a fan, I find pretty enjoyable due to it's energy and some of it feels like classic Senses Fail. Though, after Pull The Thorns From Your Heart, I was expecting Senses Fail to mature into a more experimental group. And if I am being honest, Hell is in Your Head being a sequel kind of feels like a cop-out, because "Lush Rimbaugh" and "Death By Water," for different reasons, realistically wouldn't be on anything related to Still Searching. Looking past that, Hell is in Your Head is still a solid helping of Senses Fail, even if it just seems like a mid-life crisis on the surface.

And seriously, how did Death By Water's main riff even get into Senses Fail's canon?

Rating: somewhere between 2.7-3.2


user ratings (91)
2.7
average
other reviews of this album
ConcubinaryCode (2.5)
There's a special place in hell for you...

FatheringhamDrive (3)
Senses Fail need to heed their own advice on, "Hell is in Your Head"...



Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
July 28th 2022


26484 Comments


“I don't know who is really listening to Senses Fail anymore. This is not meant to be a jab at the band,”

Quick recovery yet a sick BURN. 🔥

Good review btw

onionbubs
July 28th 2022


19780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

torn between a 3 and a 3.5 but i cant say ive jammed this since it quietly came out two weeks ago lol. been mullin my thoughts for a while despite that tho as this band meant the world to me in high school



heard an interview w buddy about the record recently where he said smth along the lines of hes not gonna have senses fail abandon the formula of what made them successful initially and i think that mentality is limiting and hurting them. i dont even need another renacer or anything like that but this is the most faceless thing theyve done. this is also apparently the most hes ever written an sf album and evidently shown by this i j dont think hes a skilled enough instrumentalist to pull alll that off on his own as a writer. that said i did still think this was solid even if its ez the worst senses fail

0range
July 28th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

thanks pizza.



onions, that interview definitely shines lights on things. if he wrote some of the instrumentals that would also be more telling. I miss the Garrett and Heath days, and I don't think he has that in mind when it comes to their former glory.

Sowing
Moderator
July 28th 2022


43734 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Welcome to Sputnik!



To me this felt a lot like the previous LP only not nearly as fun or catchy. It's good for what it is, but I have no real reason to listen to this when they've executed the same style better in the past.

onionbubs
July 28th 2022


19780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i also feel like it was less of a problem on the last album too since beau burchell wrote a lot of the guitar parts but from what i understand he didnt contribute nearly as much to the writing here

ConcubinaryCode
July 28th 2022


7490 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

I was writing a review of this but kinda got stuck because there's so many problems with it and I listened to their entire discography to try to recontextualize it and I ended up appreciating it just a tiny bit more but it's still super mundane and hearing buddy is responsible for the bulk of it makes me wonder if he should just hang it up because I question if the passion is really there anymore.



Great first review btw! You put a lot of first reviews to shame and maybe you have a knack for this? Ooo idk but if you like writing stuff I'd say pursue it man.

TheMonster
July 28th 2022


240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Grow Away from Me is the best song on here.

0range
July 28th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@ Sowing and Concubinary, i've been on the site since early 2000's but my old account is a bitch to get into anymore for some reason, and i've had the itch to review, so I created this new one. But thanks for the welcome.



also concubinary, some of the songwriting choices on this album are so basic it had to be Buddy, like the whole Alkaline Trio-esque opener to "What the Thunder Said" and its overused lead guitar melody. Thanks for the compliment, too.



@monster, you're right.

Spec
July 28th 2022


39038 Comments


Really good review. Heard a few tracks but I’ll probably skip out on the rest.

ConcubinaryCode
July 28th 2022


7490 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Speaking of songwriting the start to Death by Water sounds just like a breaking Benjamin song. Like note for note. I'll look up the song now actually, cuz I wanna say it's a song off Phobia.



So it's really similar to dance with the devils and topless' intro riff

0range
July 28th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

its similar chords to Topless for sure. And the riff from Topless is better.

Pikazilla
July 28th 2022


28930 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I love these guys' earlier output but damn do I despise Buddy more and more with each new SF release

ConcubinaryCode
July 28th 2022


7490 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

That whole album is a lot better in general and the funny thing is it sounds really similar to this structurally. It just works better for BB I think, this album kinda feels a little more in the vein of a modern bullet album where its technically fine but just a little too safe and it puts me off just a bit. Not offensive just disappointing I think.

0range
July 29th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@pika i don't dislike buddy but he just seems like someone who shouldn't be in total control of a band. that usually doesn't work anyway.



@concubinary i haven't listened to Phobia in a while, i'd say that it's an album that suits BB better than this record suits Senses Fail. I didn't go too far into it in the review but the thing about this record is that it just feels like it is trying to be every Senses Fail record. I didn't want to make that claim because i'm not familiar with every, single song. Though, in a lot of ways it just feels like a SF grab-bag. I am still trying to put my finger on it, but this direction isn't working for them if you were to ask me.

ConcubinaryCode
July 29th 2022


7490 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, buddy kinda fits in the mold of writing his songs from his diary and he's ultimately a different person from the one that wrote the early songs. He can play out his emotions well, I think Renacer and his Bayonet work are testament to that. I don't think he realizes Renacer was more like his early work than these last two albums were. More creative too.

onionbubs
July 29th 2022


19780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dead by water is the only thing here that even remotely reminds me of that bb type hard rock and it is also easily my least fav sf song lol. song is so generic and lame. rest of this more or less sounds like standard pop punk to me bar the closer which is sorta treading the territory of if there is lights t/t

0range
July 29th 2022


8 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

@concubinary I just listened to a bayonet track, that was good. Everything but the drummer on this record is much blander than it could be.



@onion that riff in Death by Water just sticks out like a sore thumb on the whole record.

TheMonster
July 30th 2022


240 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sidenote, but Pull the Thorns from Your Heart is enormously underrated and is the best SF record. Reminds me of Finch's Say Hello to Sunshine in that it's a really creative listen that went way over the heads of most of the band's audience.

onionbubs
July 30th 2022


19780 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

maybe in the respect of reception but not at all artistically. pull the thorns does nothing that renacer doesnt. still a coo album tho and one i def appreciate a bit more since this dropped

decisions
July 30th 2022


1073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thorns is way better than Renacer. It trades some of Renacer's post-metal atmosphere for a more hardcore edge, making the album more rhythmically varied. Also the closing track on Thorns is like the best song the band has written, meanwhile Renacer's closer is one of their worst.



"pull the thorns does nothing that renacer doesn't" uh, what about blast beats ? ;)



Anyways surprised at the reception to this since people liked the last album. To me that's the same quality as this, which is not very good







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