Senses Fail - Let It Enfold You (Cover Artwork)

Senses Fail

Let It Enfold You (2004)

Vagrant / Drive-Thru

Well, they tried.

Some will say that it's "cool to hate on Senses Fail". I mean, their careers started conventionally enough by today's screamo/hardcore/whatever standards. Their debut ep From the Depths of Dreams was a decent showing, suggesting that this band could crank out some fairly entertaining, energetic, and catchy songs. Thanks to high internet sales and rigorous touring, they did quite well for themselves, achieving sales of over 120,000, and solidifying a dedicated fan base. But then came the drama, the label wars (does that really say Vagrant/Drive-Thru?!), the trash talking, and the premature leakage of an already-delayed album that was rumored to be "disappointing" to label execs. A lot of us love to eat that kind of stuff up, and place negative (and often violent) feelings upon the band based on all this extraneous stuff alone. Come on guys, this is just a band trying to do what they love. All the label nonsense and other fourth grade shenanigans are irrelevant. This is a band. They make music.

It's just too bad that the music they make is boring as hell.

Let It Enfold You isn't all that different from their EP, but the good things got worse and the bad things got ridiculous. None of the songs escape the very tired formula of modern screamo: spiraling guitars, occasional double-bass drum fills, and unimaginative vocal melodies doom potentially interesting tracks such as "Bite to Break Skin" and "Tie Her Down". Someone once said that it's hard to scream and not sound stupid, and it's painfully evident throughout, as "You're Cute When You Scream" and "Rum is for Drinking, Not for Burning" contain several almost laugh-worthy moments. While Buddy's lead vocals have improved overall as far as pitch and accuracy are concerned, it's hard to imagine how the intro to "NJ Falls into the Atlantic" and "Irony of Dying on Your Birthday" were seen as a good idea by anyone involved. The obligatory imagery of violence, blood, pain and the like isn't left out either. There are no surprises here, folks.

Some of the inherent catchiness of the EP shows up every once in a while, making "Buried A Lie" and "Let It Enfold You" the few bright spots on a album chock full of similar sounding songs. At the very least, Senses Fail keep the tempo mostly upbeat, and spare us any overblown string sections or moog lines.

When it comes right down to it, it doesn't really matter if you hate the labels that put this out or you heard from a friend of a friend that Buddy made fun of someone you don't know. The bottom line is that this album will be remembered for being unmemorable. Chances are you already know if you're going to like this, and it's going to sell like flan regardless, but if you're looking for anything superior to the EP, you're not going to find it here.