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> Monday, November 1st, 2010 > Lifestyles > Bobbyisms: Senses Fail latest release superb listen
Bobbyisms: Senses Fail latest release superb listen
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Published: Monday, November 1st, 2010
I write about random things a lot. I write a lot about random things. In one funny interview years and years ago, Angus Young of AC/DC once said, "I'm sick to death of people saying we've made 11 albums that sound exactly the same — in fact, we've made 12 albums that sound exactly the same."
The common idea is that artists in the music industry need to constantly be evolving, growing and expanding their sound, and artists like David Bowie, Madonna and (more recently) Lady Gaga are proof positive of the idea that reinvention is directly relative to relevance. Other examples are subtler but widespread — as an example, just think about the different covers to all the CDs by your favourite artist.
On the other side of the argument, however, are those bands that find their niche and stay there, only growing in terms of their techniques as they expand their catalogue within their specialized craft. These bands are as notable as any other, and include acts like AC/DC and Nickelback.
Another band in this arena is Senses Fail, New Jersey's posthardcore sons, whose origins and rise to popularity can both be attributed to their strong presence on the Internet — having formed thanks to an Internet advertisement calling for musicians, the band were able to rise into and stay within the public eye by being immediately accessible online and fervently playing every show opportunity that came along.
Despite a number of lineup changes over the years, the core group of vocalist Buddy Nielsen, drummer Dan Trapp and guitarist Garrett Zablocki have been writing and growing together since the band's inception in 2002. Most recently joined by bassist Jason Black and guitarist Zack Roach, the group has once again produced a brilliant album, The Fire, released just last week.
If you're familiar with previous Senses Fail releases, you'll notice immediately that there are no real surprises on The Fire. Almost as though running down a checklist, the band have ensured that all the standard elements are present; dynamic guitar dialogue, the ebb and flow of songs that churn and soar, the lyrical references to alcoholism ... the record is almost as comforting as it is anthemic and powerful.
In an interview with PropertyOfZack.com, when asked what he was most proud of on this album compared to their previous releases, Nielsen said, "I think there's a vibe you can pick up from it in the way we recorded it, and because of the way it sounds ... we were able to work our asses off and come up with something that I think people will like. That's really, honestly, the only thing that matters. I feel good about it, and hopefully people like it."
The Fire is a fantastic listen, making 39 minutes pass as though they were 20 — the energy and feel carry brilliantly from one song to the next, and as a welcome surprise, the band have all noticeably grown with their instruments. Neilsen's vocals are better than they've ever been, the guitar work on the record is even more fluid than their prior release (2008's Life Is Not A Waiting Room), and the band sounds tighter than ever.
Top five songs: Nero, Irish Eyes, The Fire, Coward, New Year's Eve.
Twenty per cent that I would cut (two songs): Landslide, Hold On.
Though the band hasn't released an official single since their 2006 album Still Searching, they did make two songs available online — album openers The Fire and Saint Anthony — as well as provide the album to stream on their Myspace profile leading up to the album's release, further demonstrating their belief in the power of the Internet.
Check out The Fire on their Myspace profile (myspace.com/sensesfail) and get the latest on what they're up to by following them on Twitter (@sensesfail). And don't forget about @FSU_Bobbyisms on Twitter, where I'm keeping up on the latest and sharing news, views, and downloads that you'll love.
And as always, check out the Music Recommendation thread in the FSU social network for even more information and dialogue about great music. I'm out of words.