New Jersey post-hardcore outfit Senses Fail have been knocking around since 2002, and their latest offering ‘Pull The Thorns From Your Heart’, is nothing short of a masterpiece. As an outsider to the band’s genre-hopping blend of hardcore and punk, chugging riffs and atmospheric groove, I was blown away. No word of a lie – I think I might have found my new sonic obsession.
Vocalist Buddy Nielsen is to be applauded for the range showcased on the record. From aggressive roars to heart-wrenching clean vocals, his vocals are stunning and evocative. The lyrics are refreshingly honest and open – Buddy sings about his beliefs, about his struggle to reconcile himself with a ‘sexuality I didn’t choose’. There is a message of empowerment and inclusivity, of personal struggles and ‘a soul entrenched in pain’ that transcends the boundaries of class and gender and sexuality, and ethnicity. This is music as it should be. “BE BOLD. BE AUTHENTIC. BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO LOVE AGAIN,” screams Nielsen on the title track, and before I can comprehend it, I realise I have tears in my eyes.
This is a record dripping with emotion; on their sixth full-length, the band have discovered a sound and a focus that resonates with fans the world over. “I just get so damn scared at night, that I won’t be the person who I should”, sings Nielsen on standout track and album closer ‘My Fear of an Unlived Life’, where he questions his direction in life, his actions, and his choices – it’s something we all do, it’s something we’ve all done, and I feel a lump in my throat as I realise that the quintet are sound-tracking my own fears.
Pull on your headphones, block out the world and listen to this record. If you don’t feel anything, you’re not human.
– Iqra Choudhry
Venue: Pull The Thorns From Your Heart
Support Band: Pure Noise Records