Still Searching Review

artist: Senses Fail date: 10/10/2006 category: compact discs
Senses Fail: Still Searching
Release Date: Oct 10, 2006
Label: Vagrant/Drive-Thru
Genres: Screamo, Punk-Pop, Emo
Number Of Tracks: 13
Senses Fail?s Still Searching shines most when the guitar work is allowed to take the center stage.
 Sound: 8.2
 Lyrics: 8.4
 Overall Impression: 9
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reviews (5) 46 comments vote for this album:
overall: 7.7
Still Searching Featured review by: UG Team, on october 10, 2006
10 of 11 people found this review helpful

Sound: Senses Fail shows a greater depth in its guitar work on the latest CD Still Searching, which is a godsend for a band that often gets mired in the intermittent screams heard in its songs. The new CD shows that Senses Fail has plenty of promise when it doesn't stick to just the screamo genre. There are moments when Senses Fail delves into everything from electronica to slow-tempo grooves, and that is when Still Searching hits its peak.

While the band's fans probably have come to appreciate the screaming, on Still Searching those outbursts really distract from the song arrangements that don't always call for an angry delivery. Thankfully, Senses Fail (vocalist James Buddy Nielsen, guitarists Garrett Zablocki and Heath Saraceno, bassist Mike Glita, and drummer Dan Trapp) shows it has the musical chops to go beyond that and play technically demanding tunes. The standout players are guitarists Zablocki and Saraceno, who offer up dual guitar harmonies that are the most inspired moments on the record.

The CD gets off to a less-than-thrilling start with The Rapture, a short starter song that is not bad, but it also may be just a little too subtle for its own good. When it is quickly followed by Bonecrusher, a song with a title that seems to require an in-your-face delivery, the band still fails to deliver any part that is particularly memorable. While Bonecrusher does have an interesting, almost scale-like guitar intro, it still quickly loses steam with a lackluster chorus and verses.

Sick Or Sane is the first song on the latest CD to feature Nielsen's screamo-tinged vocals. The screams actually get in the way of the polished feel that is heard in everything from the flawless guitar lines to the inspired fills. It is actually the guitar solo that takes the song to an entire different level mid-song, and is even quite reminiscent of classic '80s hard rock backs like Iron Maiden. It is precisely that guitar work that pulls off the task of making Sick Or Sane one of the best tracks on the CD.

The most unique track on the CD is All The Best Cowboys, which starts off with an electronic intro and quickly allows the guitars to mimic the odd timing of what sounds like a synthesizer or sample. Senses Fail never tries to be a band like Orgy during the song, but rather it creates a base arrangement that lays the groundwork for an incredible, yet straightforward rock tune. When the last line of the song abruptly melts into the next lullaby-ish track Negative Space, it brings it to a memorable close. While many of the songs aren't able to pull of the same feat, the band does seem to be evolving in a positive direction. // 8

Lyrics: When it comes to the lyrics on Still Searching, there is a mix of the impressive and mediocre. There are times on the CD where the song themes seem contrived and predictable, but then the next song could throw a curveball with some unique thoughts.

On Lost And Found, there is an overdone castaway-type theme that seems more silly than serious. Nielsen sings, This island has become an ocean; And my boat's too small; The waves are crashing in and I can't save this sinking ship; I sent out signal flares; But no one out there seems to care. The metaphor used just seems a bit forced and actually takes away from feeling a sense of connection to the song.

The Priest And The Matador gets off to the same shaky start, but salvages itself by the end. Nielsen sings, Here I lie; I'm staring at clouds and shapes of dogs and cats; I hear a woman start to yell, 'Oh, dear God I think he fell. While these are original thoughts, they seem a bit silly at the same time. The song does take an interesting turn, however, when the imagery of the scene is painted a little more clearly. Nielsen sings, A priest is rushing to my side; Begins to read me my last rites; Father you're too late; My faith is weak. The unusual images give the song more of its own identity by delving into topics like death and the power of faith, and end up offering a nice addition to The Priest And The Matador. // 7

Overall Impression: If you're a fan of screamo music, the band still provides plenty of the screaming portion of that equation. Unfortunately, those aggressive vocals tend to distract from some of the songs on Still Searching. To Senses Fail's credit, the band doesn't try to force the screams in every song and is even showing more of their acoustic side that was prevalent during their stint on the Warped Tour.

Still Searching does have quite a few songs that will surprise listeners in a positive way, particularly when the band features complex, yet melodic guitar solos in its songs. Guitarists Zablocki and Saraceno show a maturity in their playing, which is just as evident in the slower-tempo songs as the double-time ones. Although there is still inconsistency in the songwriting underneath those solos, fans of Senses Fail will likely be satisfied with the creative growth of the band. // 8

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overall: 8
Still Searching Reviewed by: GNRAGE_2010, on october 13, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: As many of you know Senses Fail has been able to help post-hardcore become better known with their catchy lyrics and well implented screaming. This album may come as a disapointment to some since the screaming has been taken down and notch or two and is more about the more meaningful lyrics. However both lead and rythm guitar sound pretty good with some creative lead parts and the drums sound good too. Overall nothing too special is accomplished with the sound of the album but still worth listening to. // 7

Lyrics: Senses Fail decided to turn down the screaming this time around. Some may like it better but I thought they achieved a perfect balance between the screams and lyrics in "Let It Enfold You". Don't let this turn you away though because now you can here more of Buddy's creative side like in the chorus of Can't Be Saved which he sings about being stuck in a coma. // 9

Overall Impression: While this may not be their most groundbreaking record it is still good. While the screaming has been toned down you can look at it as a way to here more great lyrics from Buddy. The best songs on the album are probably Can't Be Saved, Calling All Cars, and Still Searching. If it were lost or stolen I'd definetly buy another. The thing I hate most about this album is the fact that there isn't as much screaming which is funny because I'm not really into the screaming but Senses Fail is one band I like to listen to scream. // 8

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overall: 8.7
Still Searching Reviewed by: buriedxaxlie, on may 21, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: This album you can tell just has that sound where this isn't the first CD the band has put out. The vocals are more powerful and the guitars just sound altogether better. They stick with some of their screaming from Let It Enfold You, but they also have mellower tracks on the CD as well. It's a great CD to get especially if you liked the first one. The bonus accoustic tracks at the end are definately worth getting also, Buddy's vocals are just very much improved in this album I think and he even sounds good accoustically. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics could have been better, but they're still good. Buddy goes from talking about coma's in Can't Be Saved, to jumping off a building and committing suicide in The Priest and the Matador, to loving his life in To All The Crowded Rooms. It's a good mix of emotions. I really enjoy listening to the lyrics of the Priest and the Matador. It takes a few listens to get the full effect of everything he says. // 7

Overall Impression: I really love this album. Make sure you get the bonus track one, it's worth it. I'm a fan of the deep scream and they have some of this in the album. But I also love the slower accoustic tracks with nice vocals which it also has. This one also isn't as explicit as their last CD if that bothers you. It has a little bit of everything for everyone. So I suggest you go out and buy it. // 10

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overall: 9.7
Still Searching Reviewed by: lespaul1216, on july 19, 2008
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Senses Fail's album Still Searching comes off as 10 times as heavy as their previous CD Let it Enfold You. With new rythm guitarist Heath Sarceno on board, the guitars are heavier than ever and in one song, Shark Attack detuning down to drop C for improved tone. The vocals are also more brutal with more screams, and thicker more aggressive screams at that. All in all great sound from SF. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are utterly brilliant. The album's story is told from the point of view of the main character, a drug addict/alcohaulic who is slowly growing insane. In the most bluntly titled track, "Sick or Sane" the man is bothered by the question if he is crazy or not. Eventually the character seeks medical help and in "Still Searching" it is deeply implied that he is living in a mental institution. The character becomes depressed and in "All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" (a reference to an episode of "Lost") takes his own life by jumpin off a building. In "The Priest and the Matador" it explains his process of dying and what happens aroound him. He dies at "half past six" lying on the ground with medics trying to save him. The special edition of this album contains five bonus tracks: Battle Hymn, Champagne, Stretch Your Legs to Coffin Length, Mason's Revenge, Cinco de Mayo. These songs are in no way related to the storyline, but are great additions to the track listing. Battle Hymn, for example, is easily the heaviest song on the album. There is also a cover song, Salvation originally by the Cranberries. It is a great improvement from the original, in my opinion. Buddy Nielsen provides great vocals on all of the tracks including harsh screams in songs such as "Still Searching" and melodic moaning as in "Lost and Found." // 10

Overall Impression: This album is far better than Let it Enfold You. The songs are much more aggressive and up tempo at some points and at others a slower, softer, more melodic style of rock music. The best songs on the album are easily Shark Attack, Can't be Saved, and the album's climax, All the Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues. Overall, a great album by an awesome band! // 10

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overall: 8.7
Still Searching Reviewed by: dannydisaster69, on january 30, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Sound: Since their first album Senses Fail have gone through various changes with their sound. The sound of this album is greatly different to their first album "From The Depths Of Dreams" with an insight of the bands maturity into deeper understanding of musical technques, musical patterns, impressive vocals and harmonies, harsh raw screams and intersting "electronic" effects. "Still Searching" brings up the topics of; Alchol and drug abuse, Lack of faith and loss of religion, Depression and Ultimately suicide. A rather deep and dreary sounding album, but none the less their best one by far. // 8

Lyrics: The album starts off with with a short song called "The Rapture", straight away bringing up the topics of lack of faith and death with lyrics like: "But I am blind, my faith is gone I'm finding out the good book was wrong." and "We're destined to all die alone I buried my cross with a rose." The most impressive thing about the lyrics of this album though is they do seem to tell a story, or atleast through out the 3 songs "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", "Negative Space" and "The Preist And The Matador". Throughout this album the story of an individual having a hard time finding and keeping faith in his religion is told, struggling with alcohol and drug usage and eventually taking his own life is told. "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues" is the song in which the individual does ultimately end his life by jumping off a building. "The Preist And The Matador" is the aftermath of his decision and suicide. Depressing, Dark, Morbid and Insightful lyrics will have you listening straight through the album more then once. // 9

Overall Impression: A rather "emo" album but by far more supperior to their past albums, Senses Fail deliever a strong punch with this album that will have you thinking and wanting more. The most impressive songs on this album would be the fast and agressive title track "Still Searching" with emotional filled screams and a fast paced beat. "Lost And Found" one of the slower songs on this album filled with deep and rather catchy lyrics and a rather dark feeling to it. The best song this album however would have to be "All The Best Cowboys Have Daddy Issues", experimental electronic effects, catchy choruses, heavy guitar and the depressing story that the lyrics tell, will have you begging for more after you're through with the song. Unfortunately this album could have been a lot better with maybe some more slower songs, and the absence of an acoustic song also makes this album a bit less impressive. Well written, well played and well thought out. Still Searching Will have you begging and screaming for more. // 9

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