Senses Fail – The Fire
I could have copied and pasted a review for Senses Fail’s previous two records Still Searching and Life Is Not A Waiting Room, and could take a pretty good gamble that you would never know the difference between the bands last three albums; that’s the stark reality of Senses Fail’s story to date, and their new album The Fire unfortunately follows in the same tradition. For lack of a better word, the album is just “safe”.
I’m all for a band refining their sound, and sometimes this can be the best move for certain bands at that stage of their career, but that isn’t the case with Senses Fail’s fourth studio album; it’s more a case of regurgitation than refinement. One listen will tell you that the story hasn’t changed at all from previous records. Buddy Neilson still plays the broken man, and whilst this was channelled to great effect on 2006s Still Searching, it doesn’t have the same impact here. The lyrics don’t resonate in the same way they did with the aforementioned album, and very early into this outing the lyrics and character of the album start to sound like a broken record.
It’s not only the lyrics and influences that are the same – which adds to the further disappointment of this record – but the music leaves a lot to be desired too. There’s no ambition in the song writing here. Far too much of the album moulds into one long pattern of post hardcore that has been heard before, been copied time and time again, and is becoming tiresome to endure. It’s hard to point out any part of this album that hints at some growth, as songs like Saint Anthony and Safe House could easily have been lifted off Still Searching or Life Is Not A Waiting Room.
There are a couple of tracks that could save this record from falling into the realms of mediocrity: Coward is a blistering assault of metallic guitar riffs and visceral vocals delivered at supersonic speeds, whilst New Year’s Eve shows off the vast array of vocal technique the band use effectively – this is at least something worthwhile you can take from The Fire, which all in all is an album that has already overstayed its welcome. Senses Fail have yet again shown no ambition to break out of their comfort zone. One can only wonder how long Buddy Nielson and co can be stuck in limbo before they decide to extend their ambition. It’s either that or just throw in the towel.Senses Fail - The Fire,