+Senses Fail at the Troubadour, West Hollywood. Nov, 10. 2013
With For The Fallen Dreams, Expire & Being As An Ocean
Post-hardcore veterans Senses Fail have an impressive and extensive backlog, cataloguing several albums since their birth onto the music scene in 2002. Their latest album ‘Renacer’ captures a redefining chapter, arguably delivering their heaviest and most adventurous sound.
My own journey with Senses Fail started in May this year at The Underworld in London where they were supported by a personal favourite, Marmozets. I was struck by their energy and devoted following, and it was a pleasure to find myself coming full circle for the end of their state-side tour.
Opening the night was Californian melodic hardcore band Being As An Ocean. They break through with some original aspects, such as their spoken word interludes, to avoid the dangerous air of monotony that many bands of this genre can find themselves in. A lasting impression comes from the moment their guitarist climbs upwards into the Troubadour loft, continuing to play in a bat-like stance, hooked upside down from the balustrades.
Shining through for me was Expire, a hardcore band from Milwaukee. They delivered a stand out performance, with high energy seemingly driven from pure aggression. Their 2012 album ‘Pendulum Swings’ has a catchy nature with crowd pleasing breakdowns. The fast, short tracks are filled with power and diversity, their furious display matched only by the spin kicking intensity taking off in the pit.
Next up was For The Fallen Dreams, who’s history and reception seems to contrast their live performance. Formed in 2003 they have released four full length albums, with a glance at their extensive back log of past members suggesting they have struggled to find their sound. But in spite of the criticisms that circle this band, this wasn’t to be seen from the Troubadour stage.
For The Fallen Dreams have settled on a winning combination, striking the balance between metal and melody. This was a thoroughly enjoyable live set driving the crowd wild, building the anticipation and energy for our headliners.
With so much to offer Senses Fail are wildly unpredictable, maintaining your devoted attention and energy throughout their set. From weighty guitars, drums pounding out a crowd moving rhythm, pulses of energy unleashing from the stage, primal screams and classic melodic sounds, every aspect is thrown bare before your eyes. But this is certainly not all about the music; a deeper look reveals lyrics which are both an inward therapy for the band, and an outward form of communication for their listeners. Taking you from the mantra of ‘let it go’ (Closure/Rebirth) through a series of thought provoking moments, while still maintaining their hardcore mosh-pit inducing sound.
Senses Fail isn’t just a band that shows up and plays. They connect with the crowd and show a true appreciation for their fans and the journey they have taken. It’s an interesting moment to take a step back from the insanity of the pits and all our stage diving antics to reflect with a room full of strangers on the reason we’re all here and what’s brought us together. That’s before another breakdown throws you back into the riot…
From this brave new incarnation you truly can expect the unexpected. This was an outstanding close to what must have been an impressive tour and one that I will hold on to for a long time.