Senses Fail

Still Searching

Written by: PP on 13/10/2006 14:38:35

Senses Fail faced enormous pressure to create an even better follow up to their debut EP and great album after they shifted almost 800,000 copies combined (reissues included). Given the already cliche (thought still great) sound of their debut album, most people had included the band on their 'guaranteed flops' list of 2006, but to our great surprise the band has taken a massive leap forward and has improved on just about all aspects on their sophomore album "Still Searching".

Granted, the album doesn't reinvent the wheel for the genre, but the progress the band has made since "Let It Enfold" you is fantastic: Frontman Buddy Nielsen has actually learnt how to sing. His vocal range has vastly improved and he exhibits much less annoying nasal voice than on the debut. The songs have gained much more space to breathe and don't sound as forced as on the debut. But best of all, the band has actually learnt how to scream. None of that restrained 'I try to scream but my throat won't really allow me to'. Although the restrained screams worked perfectly on a few songs like "Irony Of Dying On Your Birthday", here they sound far more powerful and echo across the soundscape like those of Underoath's screamo benchmark "They're Only Chasing Safety", adding much needed credibility for the band. The songwriting has not only improved technically, but also in general. The riffs are bigger and better, hooks are catchier and the band in general sounds more confident than ever before. For example, "Shark Attack" has a faster pace than they have ever tried before and sounds more aggressive and assaulting without sacrificing the melody we've grown used to from the band. The band even includes a sublime dual guitar solo towards the end of the song before ending it with some empowered screams.

The most notable change, though, is the much brighter feel the songs now portray. "Let It Enfold You" was plagued with its relative darkness creating a mood that the band wasn't quite succeeding at what they exactly wanted to achieve. The opposite is true here, and the new brighter sound and the increased complexity of the riffs and hooks comes across as confidence, and the songs sound much more believable than those on the debut - just see the aggressive "Every Day Is A Struggle" as an example.

It's hard to find any significant faults on the album other than the quiet atmospheric piece "Negative Space", but fortunately this is both short and placed as the second last song of the album so it does not affect the flow of the album. The latter is perhaps the biggest strength of the album as the songs sound both similar and remarkably different from each other at the same time, reinforcing the understanding that the band has put a lot of thought into this record. Maybe "Still Searching" isn't as refreshing as "From The Depths Of Dreams EP", but overall, it is by far their best outing to date, effectively working as a definite inspiration for future emo/screamo bands to come.

8

Download: Shark Attack
For the fans of: Taking Back Sunday, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, UnderOATH, Hawthorne Heights
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.10.2006
Vagrant

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