sheer invention and boundary-crossing capabilities which results in a highly accessible and industrious album...
Shane Richardson
15:57 7th November 2006

Not since Taking Back Sunday cavorted onto the scene with ‘Tell All Your Friends’ has an emo record felt this important. ‘Still Searching’ smacks you like a Ben Thatcher elbow with its merciless pace and raucous sound. Aided by newly recruited guitarist Heath Saraceno, Senses Fail have taken the prime cuts of emo, screamo and punk-rock and produced a genre-crossing gem of an album.

‘Bonecrusher’ sets the standard as sharp, tight verses full of angst spill over ear-bursting riffs to devastating effect. While ‘Sick or Sane’ has that golden punk-rock chorus that will buzz around your head like a bluebottle on cocaine. ‘Can’t Be Saved’ highlights Senses Fail ability to go from the chaotic to the calm with the greatest of ease, while the gang chorus makes it an ideal sing-along for future gigs. The lyrics are personal to lead singer Buddy Nielsen and depict his recent reliance on anti-depressants as he sings “I’m stuck in this coma, stuck in this never ending sleep. Someday I will wake up and realise I made up everything”.

Taking Back Sunday lead singer Adam Lazzara’s lyrical structure seems to have heavily influenced ‘Calling All Cars’ as the perfect emo hook and jolting verses could easily be found on ‘Where You Want To Be’. Title track ‘Still Searching’ gives Nielsen the chance to showcase his tonsil-tearing roars. A meaty Metallica-style riff makes for the heaviest offering on the LP. Nielsen manages to avoid the over-used hollow lyrics and instead takes a fresh and somewhat graphic approach as he sings on ‘Lost and Found’ “I was the chapstick in your purse to keep you smooth, I was the finger in your throat to keep you cute”.

What sets Senses Fail apart from their peers is their sheer invention and boundary-crossing capabilities which results in a highly accessible and industrious album. And with a slot on this years ‘Taste Of Chaos Tour’, the future’s looking good for the New Jersey lads. Emo may have become somewhat of a derogatory word of late, but ‘Still Searching’ should go someway to proving that, if done well, it can stand as a credible and respected genre - no matter how much eyeliner the front-men don.

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