In almost every musician’s career, they’re bound to take a slight turn in direction. At times it can be a good thing, but at others, it raises the question of “What happened to the old (insert band that used to be original here).”
Senses Fail is out with their 6th studio album Pull The Thorn From Your Heart. The album began streaming June 22 and will be released in stores June 30 via Pure Noise Records.
It’s not that it’s bad, but it’s not what was expected. Senses Fail was known for their edgy, punk rock sound. The type you see in the movies where the punk kid with baggy jeans and spiked hair goes around with his iPod on full blast.
But starting off the album, “The Three Marks of Existence” gives hope. It’s more heavier, but still edgy. The best way to describe it is something you’d hear in a Tony Hawk skateboarding video game, but also something everyone at a gig would stage dive for. The bass guitar creates a structure for the song, and the rest of the instrumentals are following along to what the bass is playing. The downside– it’s less than two minutes and it doesn’t follow smoothly into the next track.
“Carry the Weight” fails to follow the example that was set. Buddy Nielsen’s vocals have that whiny sound that most artists go for these days. The melodies of the song along with Nielsen’s voice aren’t well pieced together. Instead, it throws the entire song off and has no set direction. With the rest of the tracks, it’s either the unnecessary high pitched singing or shouting. I don’t know what it is about the shouting that gets a lot of listeners hooked in. It’s not real singing, nonetheless screams, it’s shouting, as if someone was shouting to another person across the street.
The album as a whole is an uneasy balance. It shifts too much. One moment the music sways, the next it’s on a violent rampage. Or as heard in the 9th track, “Pull The Thorn From Your Heart,” it’s a mixture of both. Before the breakdown, it’s honestly a bit scary. The whispered words “Pull the thorn from your heart” come out of nowhere and for a second there’s a moment of confusion. But as the song breaks down, the guitar riffs are gnarly. They’re heavy and well played.
But all in all, the album has no set direction– too much inconsistency. If it continued the path that was created in the beginning, it could’ve been something more worth listening to. Yes, every musician experiments in their careers, but as seen here, it wasn’t the best decision.