Photo by Lyndsay Noyes

Reviewed by Jemma Nott

I feel that I should premise this article with the following statement: I’m not a metal head. So, please if there are some nuances or references within this genre I haven’t quite picked up on, you’ll have to forgive my un-education.

Senses Fail are a post-hardcore rock band from the US of A. They’re a pretty big deal these days and are only growing in popularity. As one gentleman last night said to me ‘I can’t believe they’ve come ALL the way from America for a few gigs! We’re so lucky!’

I can tell you now, though, that the band’s Australian audience were more than prepared to show their appreciation. Senses Fail put on a metal gig, which affirmed all my presumptions about metal gigs in the best way possible – there was heavy moshing, head banging and, yes kids, some good old-fashioned crowd-surfing!

Having not been familiar with the bands previous work, I felt I would be able to come to this gig with fresh eyes and ears.

Senses Fail manage to tread the line between heavy rock and screamo in splendid fashion. All of the songs were songs that you would want from a band like Senses Fail – a celebration of inner turmoil building into an outward scream of emotion.

One of the most delightful aspects of the night though was the band’s lead singer, Buddy Nielsen – introducing each song beforehand, so the audience knew exactly what was going on. The song’s took on many narrative forms, as described beforehand by Nielsen – from political activism to losing one’s virginity much to the delight of the audience.

Often, a musician introducing a song is awkward or boring and you just want to yell ‘get on with it!’, but Neilson somehow managed to pull off the charisma of a standup comedian with the rock presence of a hardcore rock band like the one he belongs to.

Senses Fail was a musical education for me to say the least and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.




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