POZ Review: Senses Fail - Follow Your Bliss

by Zack Zarrillo - Jun 22, 2012

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It is hard to believe that ten years ago post-hardcore quintet Senses Fail were launching their career. And yet here they still are, alive and kicking harder than ever before. To celebrate their ten-year anniversary, the Ridgewood, New Jersey outfit have released a “Best of” collection entitled, Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail, via Staple Records. Not to be confused with a “greatest hits” album, Follow Your Bliss is a sixteen-song travel through nostalgia. Yet, what is particularly compelling is the bonus EP that features four new tracks. With the bonus EP, Senses Fail prove that they are still capable of commanding a few mosh pits. 

Energetic and intense, the four-song EP showcases the attributes that have helped Senses Fail survive a decade in an ever-changing musical landscape. The blistering “War Paint” kicks the EP off with a bang, as vocalist Buddy Neilson screams his lungs out much like he did on Senses Fail’s fourth LP, The Fire. As the group’s career has progressed, Senses Fail have clearly headed into a more aggressive, hardcore-tinged direction to great success. “War Paint” fits right into that bill. “Vines” follows, displaying Senses Fail’s trademark ability to transition from riff-laden verses into some of the hookiest choruses in the genre. Senses Fail still pen some of the most memorable choruses in all of post-hardcore. 

Senses Fail have been improving in all facets since their early days on Drive-Thru Records. Not only has Neilson’s nasal delivery been refined and perfected, but also the group’s musicianship gets noticeably better with each and every release. Guitarists Zach Roach and Matt Smith absolutely shred over Dan Trapp’s driving percussion work on the unyielding “Early Graves.” While the bonus EP’s closure, “Waves,” finds Senses Fail stradling the line between hardcore structures and dirty-pop choruses. 

Senses Fail’s long time fans will find comfort in the bonus EP. “Best Of” compilations do not harbor the same impact they once did, but with a bonus EP that carries the kind of weight of a full-length, Follow Your Bliss is sure to get noticed. Hold on to the safety bars; the Senses Fail roller coaster is ascending their second hill.

★★★.5/★★★★★

*This review was composed by Michael Meeze and edited by Emily Coch

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