Senses Fail


Mar 10, 2018 – 7:30 PM

124 Market Place
Baltimore, MD 21202 Map

  • Senses Fail
  • Have Mercy
  • Reggie and The Full Effect

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with Reggie And The Full Effect, Have Mercy, Household
Listening to a new Senses Fail album is a lot like reconnecting with an old friendalthough there's a comforting, indefinable familiarity within all of the New Jersey-based post-hardcore quintet's records, each new creation is a fleeting snapshot of the lives of its makers, indelibly capturing the things that meant the most during your mutual time apart. The band's third full-length release, Life ...Is Not A Waiting Room, is no exception. Having the unenviable task of following 2006's crushing Still Searching, the album showcases the face-melting musicianship and soul-baring lyricism that define Senses Fail. Once again produced by helmsman Brian McTernan (Thrice, Circa Survive) and recorded in Baltimore, MD, at his Salad Days studio, Life boasts a towering sound akin to a roundhouse kick to the skull. "This is the most fun we've ever had as a band," says singer James "Buddy" Nielsen. "I think we were feeling a lot less pressure this time around, but you've always got to do your best." The New Jersey-based group formed six years ago and released their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, in 2002. 2004's Let It Enfold Youtheir first full-lengthwas followed by Still Searching, which debuted at 15 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. To date, Senses Fail have performed multiple worldwide tours and their catalog sales have reached over 850,000, yet the band continue to evolve. Although in many ways Life picks up seamlessly where Searching left off, the new album has very distinct, unique qualities, most notably its lyrical content. While Searching wrestled with issues regarding religion and depression, Life is centered squarely on a crumbling relationship, and the desire to see meaningful change. "A lot of this record is written about the recent break up I had with a long-time girlfriend, the first person I have ever been in love with, and someone I spent a lot of time and shared my transition from kid to adult," explains Nielsen. "The other elements of the record consist of regrets and how they can leave a burning hole in your soul; how the past is something you can't change.There are also bright moments where I find myself coming to terms with those very facts, and in knowing the problem you can then be proactive and change." Life also marks the addition of new bassist Jason Black (formerly of Hot Water Music), who replaces the departed Mike Glita. Meanwhile, guitarists Garrett Zablocki and Heath Saraceno (formerly of Midtown) have grown into one of the most scorching six-string tandems around; Life features more of the nimble harmonies showcased on Searching, but this time the duo took it one step further, with some truly shred-a-riffic leads, such as those heard on "Lungs Like Gallows" and "Garden State." Another rocker, "Wolves At The Door," was so intense that it even garnered a coveted spot within the soundtrack for the best-selling Madden NFL '09 video game. Kicking off with the rich, moody "Fireworks At Dawn," Life roars and pummels its way through the album's 12 tracks without the slightest pause for filler, delivering an absolute haymaker just four tracks in with "Family Tradition," which features the band's signature blend of dark and melodic. Nielsen's words are as insightful as they are meaningful. "I find myself at times doing things to live up to other peoples' expectations, or cutting myself down because I assume that will make me look more humble to the world," says Nielsen. "So this song is one part a reaction to that, and also about following the footsteps of a family member you don't really know, but who has had a huge influence on you." Perhaps the most heart-wrenching moments of all come via the two-part song cycle of "Yellow Angels" and "Four Years," which were inspired by a terminally ill fan named Marcel, who befriended Nielsen at an SF show in Dallas, TX. Nielsen remained in contact with the 18-year-old, who was stricken with cancer of the soft tissue of his face, and endured many painful surgeries and treatments in order to attempt to fend off tumors that were growing in vital areas such as his eyes, nose and throat. When Marcel's mother notified Nielsen of her son's worsening condition, the singer flew to Texas, where he spent a great deal of time with this incredibly courageous young man, during the final days of his tragically short life. "It was one of the most intense and stirring times in my life. The sheer pain this 18-year-old boy was in was mind blowing, yet his optimistic outlook and sense of humor was steadfast," Nielsen recalls. "This kid changed my life and although he is no longer with us, he lives on everyday in the pictures I took with him, to remind myself that life is never as bad as you think it is. So 'Yellow Angels' is my reaction to meeting Marcel and how I needed to live in the moment and love myself and life. 'Four Years,' on the other hand, is about being influenced by such a life-changing [experience] and having to make new decisions about my relationship and what it really was." The album's title is a succinct, encapsulating statement as to its thematic thrust. Life Is Not A Waiting Room is just as much revelation as it is reflection; the sum total of every ounce of pain, fear, hope and joy that the record exudes. "I felt I had been living as if I was waiting for something to happen, but I know that is the wrong way to liveit just doesn't promote any sort of happiness," Nielsen concludes. "The title sums up the direction I want to go in, and what I want to get away from, and it's a cry to everyone else to stop living like I have." Just like the rest of us, Nielsen's struggle is far from over. But one thing is certain: SF have once again delivered their message with both passion and fury. All one has to do is listen with their ears and heart openjust as an old friend would.
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Senses Fail: Senses Fail is possibly the most successful and popular post-hardcore/emo bands still in existence. Since the release of their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, in 2002, Senses Fail has gathered a huge following of loyal — primarily younger — fans, thanks to a lightning fast musical speed and intense tour dates. The band's latest album, The Fire, has become a huge success and proved that Senses Fail has a unique type of staying power. They recently just wrapped up tour dates for 2011 on the PMA Tour with new guitarist Matt Smith, and both the album and the recent concert dates show a promising future for the veteran screamo band.

In 2002, Senses Fail began its journey in New Jersey when lead singer Buddy Nielsen posted a BFN (band formation notice) on the internet. Shortly after, 15 year old drummer Dan Trapp and his guitarist friends Dave Miller and Garett Zablocki answered the call to join. It took a while before former Tokyo Rose drummer Mike Glita rounded out the band on bass.

After playing nearly any gig they could find, Senses Fail recorded their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, in 2002. The album was surprisingly successful and furthered by the band's activity on the internet. Drive-Thru Records re-released the album and it reached #144 on the Billboard charts; a huge feat for a debut EP. Senses Fail released their debut LP, Let it Enfold You, in 2004 to a favorable reception. The album's success was furthered by music video for the single, "Buried a Lie," and numerous tour dates. Unfortunately, guitarist Dave Miller left the band in 2005 and was replaced by Heath Saraceno (ex-Midtown guitarist).

With a new lineup, Senses Fail released their second full-length album in 2006, titled Still Searching. The album was a huge success and was praised as being even better than the previous, partially due to a slightly softer sound and better structured songs. Unfortunately, after the release of the album, bassist Mike Glita left the band and was replaced by Jason Black of Hot Water Music. Senses Fail outdid themselves on their next album, Life Is Not a Waiting Room, in 2008. The album was a huge success, due in part to the heavy, dark, and violent emotional turmoil of Buddy Nielsen that is expressed in the songs. Again, after the album's release, guitarist Heath Saraceno left the band.

Instead of using Saraceno's replacement -- Zack Roach -- on the next Senses Fail album, guitarist Garret Zablocki recorded both guitar pieces on the entire record. The album, The Fire, was released in 2010 and has been called Senses Fail's finest record to date, improving on their already successful sound. The Senses Fail curse hit once again though, as Zablocki soon left the band and was replaced by Strike Anywhere guitarist Matt Smith. With each album they release growing more successful and popular than the last, fans are excited to see what Senses Fail will come up with next. With tour dates on the PMA Tour all done, Senses Fail has added a couple of dates to their 2011 tour schedule. Senses Fail has four scheduled shows in the middle of July in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Check Eventful for all the details on these new intimate tour dates in 2011.

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