"Life is Not a Waiting Room" (Vagrant; 2008)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

This is the third disc from the post hardcore band Senses Fail. They have been rocking since 2002 and this disc has some great music with interjected screams that elevate the mood. The guitar is really good and with heavy metal riffs and solos; you can tell where their loyalty lies.

The vocals are intense on some of the tracks and sometimes the punk sound comes through loud and clear. Senses Fail hail from New Jersey so of course they should include a song titled "Garden State" that pays homage to their stomping grounds. There were some bonus tracks if you get the UK version and iTunes has a couple for sale as well.

The song lyrics are about the lead singer Buddy Nielsen's spiral down into depression after a long time relationship break up, drinking and the overwhelming feelings almost took him down. A terminally ill fan helped Buddy overcome his depression and opened his eyes to the human conditions we all face. The record is uplifting and positive; that goes against what hardcore is all about. Could this be a new trend?

Musically these guys are tight and when they power it up you can tell they have talent. The drums are a force and power a lot of the songs. The guitar is tough and it surprised me on a few cuts. The bass duties are handled by Jason Black of Hot Water Music (just in case you wanted to know). The vocals switch back and forth between clean and scream.

The ones worth waiting for are: "Lungs Like Gallows," "Garden State," "Wolves At The Door," "Hair Of The Dog," "Four Years," "Chandelier," and "Blackout."

Senses Fail: James "Buddy" Nielsen Lead Vocals, Lyrics; Garrett Zablocki Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals; Dan Trapp Drums, Percussion; Heath Saraceno Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Backing Vocals; Jason Black (from Hot Water Music) Bass.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:22 -0400.