After ten years of releasing music, Senses Fail has finally reached that point in their careers where a Best Of album is a necessary (and a little scary) part of moving forward. To add to the incentive of purchasing the album, Senses Fail has included a four-track EP of brand new songs. These four songs are some of the most adult and mature songs the band has ever released in their long career. It’s an indication that the first, angry chapter of their music is slowly coming to an end, replaced by a theme that is hopeful yet still containing that unique sound that set them apart in the first place.
“War Paint,” the heavy-hitting opener, has vocalist Buddy Nielsen giving one of his best performances yet, and includes lyrics that are both relatable and wise. “Beautiful sunset, passionate kiss/These things mean nothing when you cannot come to terms with, the person who you are and you’re meant to be, are separated by a sea of insecurities.” Nielsen has always had a knack for meaningful lyrics, granting us access to the deepest parts of his psyche. “Vines” is in the same vein as past singles such as “Garden State” and “Can’t Be Saved,” electing for a more straightforward rock approach. Again, the song’s best quality is its lyrics, but it’s easy to note the increased musicianship of the band in general. The guitars are intricate and catchy, while the bass work is some of the best present in any Senses Fail song.
The last two tracks, beginning with the punky “Early Graves,” add just as much depth to the short EP as the first two tracks, making for a balanced piece of music. “Early Graves” contains a catchy chorus, and should prove a fun concert song. Its lyrics, containing lines like “I was suffocating something inside of me, when it just needed to breathe,” are classic Nielsen, showcasing more internal struggles in the life of the illustrious vocalist. “Waves,” the closer track, proves to be an effective ending, with top-notch musicianship throughout and some of the best lyrics in the entire EP: “So don’t waste your bones, they were built to break/Follow convictions, to hell with fate.”
Senses Fail’s latest EP is a nice companion piece for the Follow Your Bliss: The Best of Senses Fail album, and helps paint a vivid picture of what’s in store for the aging, but still relevant band. The EP offers up a healthy dose of fantastic new tracks to keep us hungry until the next full-length. If the EP is any indication of what’s to come, then consider this Senses Fail fan highly intrigued.