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Senses Fail - Still Searching (Cover Artwork)

Senses Fail

Senses Fail: Still SearchingStill Searching (2006)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: tylerdurden8136tylerdurden8136
(others by this writer | submit your own)

I already know that most of you have written off Senses Fail due to their previous recordings, which while completely understandable, will more than likely cause you to prematurely judge Still Searching. The unfortunate aspect of that fact is that the band's new album is actually a huge step in the .
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I already know that most of you have written off Senses Fail due to their previous recordings, which while completely understandable, will more than likely cause you to prematurely judge Still Searching. The unfortunate aspect of that fact is that the band's new album is actually a huge step in the right direction, and is more than just another mediocre sophomore attempt . Instead, the band has actually evolved, learning from their mistakes on Let It Enfold You and seemingly going back to their roots, with some tracks sounding as if they could have been ripped straight off of From the Depths of Dreams. While not perfect by any means, the listener does receive a Senses Fail album that rises above not only what Buddy Nielson and the gang have done previously, but every other band in their respective genre has as well.

As mentioned before, Senses Fail has gone through a slight change or evolution both lyrically and in sound. While From the Depths of Dreams was a breath of fresh air in an overcrowded, monotonous, and extremely generic field of garbage unfortunately mislabeled as "screamo," their first full-length Let It Enfold You was a step backwards and only seemed to ride the tired waves of this overplayed genre. Full of worn-out clichés, lyrics that consisted of nothing but suicide, murder, a distinct distaste for the female gender, and terrible screaming that plagued nearly each and every song, Let It Enfold You was far from what many expected from the then up-and-coming band. However, with the release of Still Searching, Senses Fail have not only redeemed themselves, but proven that a band accused of catering their music to 14-year-old girls can indeed show maturity.

While the band has improved many aspects of their music, perhaps the biggest and most obvious change in Still Searching is the sound. The first thing that the listener is hit with when hearing the album is the distinct "poppiness" that Still Searching carries. For the majority of the album, the dark overtones that plagued Let It Enfold You are gone, instead replaced with catchy hooks that drill into your brain the first time you're exposed to them. This new sound is nowhere more apparent than in what is sure to be the band's next single, "Can't Be Saved." This song truly showcases just how much Senses Fail has changed as a band, both lyrically and musically. While their new sound isn't as pop driven as let's say, Fall Out Boy, it is a bit more comparable to Boys Night Out's 2003 release Make Yourself Sick. True to that album's overall tone and feel, Still Searching combines pop-punk with just a tad of hardcore influences.

"Every Day Is a Struggle" is another Make Yourself Sick type of song, including gang vocals and, believe it or not, mature lyrics. While their EP and prior full-length were guilty of such lyrics as "Well I had a dream last night and in my dream I took a knife to you / I slit your throat from ear to ear / The wound was gasping for the air / Your scream so clear," Still Searching's lyrics are completely different. Gone are the images of blood, murder, and revenge. Instead, these issues have been replaced with depression, struggle, and everyone's favorite drug, alcohol. In fact, some of the lyrics could be compared to Good Mourning-era Alkaline Trio. Lines such as "So much for the past year / I poured it down the drain with all the alcohol and pain I got from / your eyes, oh your eyes / I'm burning out my bedside / And I'm rotting out my insides slowly," and "I've got something to say / About the last twelve months I've lived / I'm not the same kid / I was when I was younger / I just thought you should know / I take a pill every day / To help me deal with life," really help showcase just how far the lyrics have progressed over the past two years. Sure, they're still dark, but at least this time they're not overly wrought with images of bloody chainsaws.

However, some songs still carry a bit of Let It Enfold You, showing that Senses Fail couldn't completely part with the horrendous screaming that made their last album somewhat unmemorable. Songs like "Sick or Sane (Fifty for a Twenty)" and "Shark Attack" are two examples that fall victim to pointless screaming, with the latter featuring just two lines of lyrics that for some reason were chosen to be screamed rather than sung.

Another unique and unfortunate aspect to "Sick" and "Shark" is the random guitar solos that appear in these two songs and only these two songs. These meaningless guitar solos occur right after the "screams" on both tracks and, at least for me, make it suddenly sound as if I'm listening to The Curse by Atreyu, which, needless to say, no one wants. It perhaps wouldn't be so bad if the whole album showcased these solos, but the fact that they appear in only two songs seems as if they were just an afterthought, something tacked on to appeal to those kids who perhaps miss the more "hardcore" Senses Fail. Either way, these solos are excruciatingly cringe-worthy and are a major detractor from the album overall. Yet all is not lost. The title track of the album does feature "screams," but they surprisingly work well with the heavy tone of the song and the constant drum beats. Though perhaps the fact that a guitar solo is nowhere to be heard in "Still Searching" might have a huge reason to do with it.

Overall, this is a solid release for a band that many won't even give a chance, which in reality is a shame. For not only have Senses Fail changed the overall tone of their music, they've matured in just about every aspect a band can as musicians. Sure, their music still isn't going to blow anyone way as it's still not groundbreaking, nor is it going to be in anyone's top five at the end of the year. But one thing is for certain: Still Searching defines Senses Fail as the band to beat when it comes to what so many of you like to call "nü-screamo," and while that may not be much, it's still something.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Senses Fail - Let It Enfold YouTiger Army - II: Power of MoonlightBad Religion - New Maps of HellStrung Out - Blackhawks Over Los AngelesRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessBilly Talent - Billy Talent IIBilly Talent - Billy TalentTurbonegro - Apocalypse DudesLagwagon - ResolveLess Than Jake - In with the Out Crowd

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
IMluke (August 12, 2009)

was this review writen by the ICWF's Tyler Durden?

MrFlopz (July 29, 2009)

Not a bad review, but I disagree with your bias against screaming and guiar solos. Senses Fail doesn't have the best screaming but its still a defining aspect of that band and it really compliments the music. I admit that songs like Rum is For Drinking Not Burning and Irony or Dying on Your Birthday would have been better off without it, but they really make the screaming work for this album. I like the way his vocals shift from shift from singing to screaming so suddenly. It keeps songs like Still Searching and Sick or Sane interesting. The verses of Sick or Sane would be pretty boring without it.

And how could you complain about solos? All they do is add a little excitement to songs. Sick or Sane and Shark Attack are two of the best tracks on the album and the solos really help them. The songs both build up tension until it explodes into an awesome solo. The songs would be pretty anticlimatic and dull without them. And how cares if they don't use solos very often? They aren't trying to recreate Metallica's "Kill Em All". They just add a few solos where they see fit and the end result sound great.

Mafiachick1313 (October 10, 2007)

This is a great improvement from them. The instuments are pretty solid and although its emo, it's actually from someones emotion not any of that crap you see now a days

lackscreativity (April 3, 2007)

This review is right on it. I couldn't have said it better myself!! She screaming is really powerful and full of emotion, so i wish you wouldn't hate on it.

AutumnInAshes (March 21, 2007)

Nice Album

C_Z (November 15, 2006)

solid lyrics
good and catchy songs
would've liked heavier shit
but its still sick

clownwithstress (November 1, 2006)

this cd is an amazing step forward then there last album..more creative in every department of music,singing,and lyrics..fucking a!!!

Satelliteyrs (October 22, 2006)

sick as hell

Sensesfaillover (October 17, 2006)

This album is AMAZING.. the way the band moves from one song to the next. anyone who says their lyrics suck dont know what they are talking about. Plus, the songs link with one another, its one big storyline, ending with the death in "the priest and the matador"

Anonymous (October 17, 2006)

Wow, anyone who says senses fail is not a good band should go fuck themselves repeatedly. Senses fail is definitly got to be one of the best bands i have ever heard of. Although Still Searching was't their best album by far, they are still rockin it. I would have to say the Let It Enfold You was and still is their best attempt yet. And as far as the lyrics go, they are outstanding. I mean come on, even Buddy said that the previous ones didnt even have that much meaning. And one more thing, how in the hell can you even begin to think that this album was "poppy"? You have got to be kidding me. -Chloe Broyles

BenOfTheDead (October 15, 2006)

Bought this on a whim the day of it's release. Really couldn't stand it the first few attempts. Sort of liked 'Let It Enfold You', and only heard of that album after I met one of the band members outside of The World in Pittsburgh (... I believe it's closed now).

Anyway the lyrics aren't TERRIBLE, but they do suck. The lyrics are like any other cannon emo-esque band. I loathe Taking Back Sunday... I'd honestly shoot them on site given the oppurtunity... but I'm digressing.

All in all this album barely got 2 stars from me.

Britin (October 15, 2006)

Hmm well i have to say that I loved LET IT ENFOLD YOU and i now love STILL SEARCHING It does sound really diffrent from Let It Enfold You Cause Theres way less screaming. I really liked all the screaming, to me it was just so intense and i liked that. But Still Searching is still a really great album. And I bet most of the people posting a bunch a bullshit about them on here havent even listened to the entire CD or anythung that came before it. They just wanna say shit about something that they havent even given a chance yet...Total Fucking Stupid Ass Bullshit If you ask me... And i know that no one HAS asked me but do i fucking care? .... I Hope you dont think i do....

-Britin

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

I agree with you on some points. I really like Senses Fail old stuff too though. They sound somewhat like The Used. Nobody can beat "Choke on this" and "Lady in a blue dress" though. I cant believe you didnt mention "The Priest And The Matador" in this review. That has to be the greatest song with the best lyrics. But dont worry, cant be saved comes right after it.

Anonymous (October 15, 2006)

simply put:
their first album was bad except for bloody romance
let it enfold you was great
still searching is a step to pop and mainstream and the lyrics are a lot more boring, their sound is boring now and its too poppy.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

i disagree with this review completely.

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

who cares who likes it. as long as little girls and boys love emo. they are successful.

Pyro (October 13, 2006)

Greatest Album Iv Ever Heard...EVER

crazytoledo (October 13, 2006)

Posted by Anonymous on Friday, October 13, 2006 at 2:27 AM (EDT)

I can picture this as something crazytoledo listens to while he masturbates.


I remember saying I gave this a 4 or 5 out of 10.

And why the hell are you thinking about me and masurbating?

Anonymous (October 13, 2006)

I can picture this as something crazytoledo listens to while he masturbates.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

Not punk rock

Birdizzle (October 12, 2006)

ive been with senses fail since "from the depths of dreams", and i loved "let it enfold you". they are deff one of my top 3 favorite bands. the new album tho is different...i like it and it sounds good, but not senses fail. i guess i expected something more like "let it enfold you", but i was kind of dissapointed when i first listened to "still searching". dont get me wrong, i like the album and i think its good, but i was just expecting something totally different from senses fail

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

hmm... imo i think that this is a step in the wrong direction. i think the new guitarist sounds like every other punk/pop guitarist out there and the fact that senses fail uses less screaming works against them :-/.

GreenVandal (October 12, 2006)

No thanks. A new Blood Bros. album came out. This shit is unnecesary.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

"I've got something to say / About the last twelve months I've lived / I'm not the same kid / I was when I was younger / I just thought you should know / I take a pill every day / To help me deal with life," really help showcase just how far the lyrics have progressed over the past two years.

is this some sort of joke?

this band is terrible, their marketing is terrible, and the lyrics make me hope the singer follows up on his 'deep thoughts' on living life. we would all be a lot better for it.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

Before this, I thought that Senses Fail would always suck. I am still not too big on the lyrics, but I guess that having one of the members from Midtown writing all your songs makes a big difference.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

Over the top artwork sucks.

Anonymous (October 12, 2006)

man a lot of people think their oppinions matter...i guess im being hypocritical by even posting, but i think the almbum has a lot of emotion and is pulled off better than their earlier music. also i can guarantee half of the people that gave it a 1 or a 2 havent even heard the entire cd

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

lots of bad comments for the new sf record but tons of good ones for bloodbrothers.... yeah... that makes no sense at all.

blue_bronco_gurl (October 11, 2006)

i've been a senses fail fan ever since they came out with the depth of dreams ep. i bought all the drive thru dvd's just to see the footage of them. and in every cd you can tell a difference. i bought still searching the day it came out, i couldn't wait. once i graduated in 05 i kinda got out of the whole "music scene", stopped going to local shows and all. but through it all i've stayed a fan of senses fail. i truly think they have a sound of they're own. i must admit though, i was dissapointed with still searching. i personally liked let it enfold you. it seems to me they've gotten more soft, lyrics and music both. let it enfold you got me through some rough times. and that sounds so cliche, but it's the truth. but i understand that every band goes through change. take blink-182 for example. i heard them, and they were a gateway that led me to all this other music. in they're past six cd's they have expanded they're horizons, and even started side projects. and alot of people hate blink, but you gotta admit, for being as old as they were, they lasted and are still an incon in the pop punk world.
but that's all i have to say. basically if your a senses fail fan, it's all good.
-ash

coldwaffles (October 11, 2006)

That's funny, because you know what ISN'T a shitty sophmore "Nu-Screamo" release?

Illusion of Safety, Full Collapse, and Worship and Tribute.

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

You guys need to stop thriving on the lyrics because if you compare them to the last record let it unfold you they are way better! Even Buddy will admit that the lyrics in "Let It Unfold you had no meaning what so ever! In this abum he made sure that the lyrics would relate to him and the band! If you watch the DVD he talks about how he has been on anti-depressants and he explains that you don't feel any emotion when on them and drinking and being an alcholic helps because he can actually feel emotion! If you listen to the lyrics on the album they seem to directly relate!
Even if the lyrics were not written amazing at least they have a meaning on this album! SO THAT RIGHT THERE MAKES THIS ALBUM BETTER THAN "LET IT UNFOLD YOU"!
Also i think adding Heath to the band has done nothing but good things for this band! Heath was too grown up for Midtown and that is pretty obvious! If you have seem them live since Heath was added, not only do they all perform better, but they get more into their shows because they all seem happier about the other band mates! About a year ago i went to one of their shows and it was one of Heaths first shows with Senses Fail and after the show, which by the way is on my top five for best live performances, i asked him what the difference was between playing for Midtown and playing for Senses Fail and he said " Its way more fun, its actually nothing like Midtown!"
I would just like to say awesome job on the new album, and it is my choice for album of the year!
AND FOR ALL YOU HATERS WATCH THE DVD BECAUSE IT REALLY SHOWS SOME COOL FOOOTAGE OF THIS BAND!

LeightonESmith (October 11, 2006)

Although I haven't heard this yet, I'm all for keeping an open mind about bands in general. Who knows when they'll surprise you.

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

People are reading the review incorrectly... the throat slitting lyric is from their first EP, which they wrote when they were like 17, and is an example of what their lyrics used to be like. The reviewer then cited newer lyrics, saying that they weren't like the previous stuff.

HeresLookinAtYou (October 11, 2006)

great review

totally agree

HeresLookinAtYou (October 11, 2006)

great review

totally agreed

Anonymous (October 11, 2006)

i haven't heard this and i don't like this band. but even if the lyrics do suck, citing a line about slitting throats doesn't prove that. to use an orgcore band as an example, the larry arms have a lot of imagery like that in their lyrics. similarly, quoting "slit my throat from ear to ear and drink my blood like wine" from the new falcon cd doesn't prove that those lyrics suck either, which they don't.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

The majority of the lyrics are about having taken anti-depressants for a couple of years and how it's affected him.

Still Searching > Garden State

Garden State > Episode I: The Phantom Menace

ryne (October 10, 2006)

I can say I do not agree fully.
I don't think the lyrics that were shown above are a "great step." There's nothing grand about them, that's just him writing stuff down about alcoholism.
The songs aren't catchy, either.

Keith19 (October 10, 2006)

I'm interested in checking it out, but I don't know if I should spend the money just to be dissapointed.

I think I'll pick up the decemberists album instead.

BrendanKelly (October 10, 2006)

the reviewer should stop reviewing.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Odd how this review discussed the change in music, particularly the guitar work, yet failed to mention their lineup change since Let It Enfold You. Not only did one of their original guitarists leave the band (under somewhat suspicious circumstances), but he was replaced by much older Heath from Midtown, a band these kids listened to while growing up in New Jersey and in high school.

ChokingVictim (October 10, 2006)

This review ruined my day.

klonny (October 10, 2006)

"My sense of hearing must've failed!"

whatchokesbegin (October 10, 2006)

I used to like this band. Then I realized that all he sings about is how much the hates himself and killing people, mostly women who must have broken his heart or something, probably they realized how shitty of a songwriter he is.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

considering your top artist/records I'll ignore that FATA joke you twit.

dakotacore (October 10, 2006)

Boy, I bought the EP years ago and I couldn't stand it. "I wanna kill you!! I wanna kill you!!" Then you said the lyrics got better?!?! How is I wanna slice your neck from ear to ear any better? These guys are just losers who have no lyrical talent. Get over the murder imagery, assholes. Fucking misogynists.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Because of the singer namedropping bane and mouthpiece i actually checked this one out....and besides one single riff, i belive it's the first riff in "shark attack", this is the worst record i've ever heard.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

"and is more than just another mediocre sophomore attempt ."
fuck these guys. score is for the line w/links above. haha.

wutuwant (October 10, 2006)

guitars sounds heavy.......... betta than 1st one rofl

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

The lyrics in this album are TERRIBLE.

They're really improved, but lost the complete 'cheesy' feel that they had. So they are an improvement where you can't listen and say 'Oh god those are horrible lyrics.' However, reading them and you can see they aren't too good, but it's an improvement.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Every review of this has said "the lyrics are a major improvement on past efforts". How fucking bad were they before?

whatchokesbegin (October 10, 2006)

The lyrics in this album are TERRIBLE.

If you think this shit is good, you literally have no idea what good music is.

No exceptions, this shit is awful, and that is an absolute.

Disagree? READ THE LYRICS.

fucking terible

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

fucking amazing and all of you "punknewsers "are retards! album of the year by far!!!!!! sounds different then let it unfold you but thats not a bad thing cause bands are supossed to evolve right? if you guys new music you would have given this a chance!

wallofyouth (October 10, 2006)

with so much music out there, there's no reason to listen to something you "don't mind." that's a waste of time!

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

Another unique and unfortunate aspect to “Sick” and “Shark” is the random guitar solos that appear in these two songs and only these two songs. These meaningless guitar solos occur right after the “screams” on both tracks and, at least for me, make it suddenly sound as if I’m listening to The Curse by Atreyu, which, needless to say, no one wants.

Hmm, those are my two favorite parts on this release.

i-type-poorly (October 10, 2006)

Score's for being sick to death of seeing that album cover everywhere for the past few weeks.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

Surprisingly good. And I think this is a pretty accurate review.

skolarx (October 10, 2006)

i haven't really given these guys much of a chance over the years. i worked one of thier early shows in Detroit and they covered a movielife song like maybe 3 months after they broke up without bothering to tell the crowd it was a cover which annoyed me to the point of writing them off. perhaps i'll have to give this album a shot, the review makes it out to be something i might like

m-oo (October 10, 2006)

I only skip 2 songs on this album, while with let it enfold you I would skip 3 or 4. I guess thats a step up for them.

Nothing amazing, but something I don't mind listening to if I have a long train journey.

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

And my Aiden review got referenced. Saweet.

crazytoledo (October 10, 2006)

I haven't read your first review yet, but I guess you won't hate me forver...haha...

Anyways, I think I gave this a 5. It's an okay album, but nothing too special. The solos are a nice touch, but I'm actually liking Let It Enfold You more than this...

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

fuck this band.

thirtyseconds (October 10, 2006)

I've always liked the instrumental side to these lads. However, the vocals and melodies are just flat out annoying.

SlackMFr (October 10, 2006)

IhateSensesFailtheymakemewanttopukeouttheChicagoStylePizzathatwa smydinnerlastnightalongwithmyinnerorgans.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

this sucks

profoundhatredSH (October 10, 2006)

i like the link to victory records site, it made me laugh

danperrone (October 10, 2006)

this review is reaaaaaaaaaaaaally long

inagreendase (October 10, 2006)

Man, this album might be better than the last, but it really sounds like Taking Back Sunday. Like whoa.

colin (October 10, 2006)

go kill yourself, brandon.

joeg (October 10, 2006)

i think this band is atrocious and you're right, i won't give them a chance because the first 10 seconds of that guys voice on the myspace stream were enough. but my own biases aside, from a reader's standpoint, this was a difficult review to get through.

i think it's fine to make references to earlier material and other bands. but your whole review was basically just that, a compare/contrast to record X and Y and band X and Y to the point where i was confused as to what you were reviewing. cut out the fat next time and you'll get a more focused, easier to read review. just my 2 cents.

Anonymous (October 10, 2006)

good review. i agree with it all.

BrendanKelly (October 10, 2006)

hahahahhahah he actually gave it 3 stars.

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