Not since Taking Back Sunday cavorted onto the scene with â€˜Tell All Your Friendsâ€™ has an emo record felt this important. â€˜Still Searchingâ€™ 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.
â€˜Bonecrusherâ€™ sets the standard as sharp, tight verses full of angst spill over ear-bursting riffs to devastating effect. While â€˜Sick or Saneâ€™ has that golden punk-rock chorus that will buzz around your head like a bluebottle on cocaine. â€˜Canâ€™t Be Savedâ€™ 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 â€œIâ€™m stuck in this coma, stuck in this never ending sleep. Someday I will wake up and realise I made up everythingâ€.
Taking Back Sunday lead singer Adam Lazzaraâ€™s lyrical structure seems to have heavily influenced â€˜Calling All Carsâ€™ as the perfect emo hook and jolting verses could easily be found on â€˜Where You Want To Beâ€™. Title track â€˜Still Searchingâ€™ 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 â€˜Lost and Foundâ€™ â€œI was the chapstick in your purse to keep you smooth, I was the finger in your throat to keep you cuteâ€.
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 â€˜Taste Of Chaos Tourâ€™, the futureâ€™s looking good for the New Jersey lads. Emo may have become somewhat of a derogatory word of late, but â€˜Still Searchingâ€™ 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.