On My Playlist: Top 5 Senses Fail songs

Senses Fail
Senses Fail

This week, we focus on the emo/post-hardcore band, Senses Fail, which, alongside a couple other bands in the genre, has had a massive impact in the 2000s.
Senses Fail are known for their vocalist, Buddy Nielsen, who has been the only constant and last original member of the band – his emotional, dark, heartfelt lyrics have been the soundtrack for an entire generation.
The melodies and emotion in their songs and lyrics are second to none and they are still going strong, having released a new album this year. Their two most popular records to this day are 2004’s Let It Enfold You and the 2006’s Still Searching.
Honourable mentions: ‘Still Searching’, ‘Sick or Sane’, ‘Shark Attack’, ‘Buried A Lie’, ‘Double Cross’, ‘You’re Cute When You Scream’ and ‘Bloody Romance’.
Here are my top 5 picks:
5. Can’t Be Saved
This song is all about going for your dreams and following your bliss. This track from Still Searching focuses on how negative thoughts can keep you from reaching your potential. Nielsen and company do a great job in creating one of the most melodic, melancholic choruses in the band’s discography. ‘I’m stuck in a coma, stuck in a never-ending sleep. And someday I will wake up and realise I made up everything,’ sings Nielsen as he contemplates how negative thoughts have made him.
The main guitar riff and melody is definitely one of the most recognisable and will stick in your head almost instantly.

4. Rum Is For Drinking Not Burning
The main post-hardcore guitar riff filled with octave and quick strumming is indicative of this era of music and still stands the test of time. The guitar work is intricate and fits the song perfectly, especially in the chorus and the bridge, where some excellent dual guitar work takes the song to another level. The seas and ship themes are also prevalent in this song about fighting on to our desires and letting negativity and bad people walk the plank, so to speak. Nielsen’s screams are also a welcome addition to this song and show the hardcore edge that the band has: ‘Sail with me into the setting sun. The battle has been won, but war has just begun. And as we grow, emotion starts to die, We need to find a way, just to keep our desire alive.’


3. Calling All Cars
‘Calling All Cars’ is one of Senses Fail’s most popular songs and its magic lies in its storyline, themed lyrics and the emotion in the delivery. The instrumentation is also on point with a fantastic lead intro riff that follows a slow build-up in the intro. The song has dark undertones and looks at the destruction that bad relationships can have on a person: ‘So, will you scatter my ashes where they won’t be found? I kept my word when I swore that I would let you down. And, now that I’m gone, Try to forget me and just move on.’


2. Bonecrusher
This edgy song is one of my favourites from Senses Fail, mainly because of the sarcastic, emotional lyrics and the overall flow of the song. The palm muted guitars and open riffs give the song its typical post-hardcore sound with the chorus being the absolute highlight: ‘Drink up (drink up) drink up the loneliness And I’ve got romantic ideas, but they’re not meant for you. And my bed’s filled with black roses to show that our love is through.’ The song is short and sharp, where the guitar dominates the outro. Nielsen gives a superb performance and you can truly feel the passion.

1. Bite To Break Skin
The guitar intro, alone, warrants this song as an instant classic for fans of this band, as its elongated main melody progresses perfectly before the first verse. The verses are stop-start, filled with sharp bursting screams. The track has a fantastic blend of melody and hardcore edge with typical, visually potent lyrics: ‘So, let me take this medicine To quench my love for violent things. My swansong will be like a bullet laced in anger. As the razor cuts a soft spot on your heel.’

  AUTHOR
Wouter Pienaar
Sport Journalist

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