View The Review
7 out of 10
Lots of punk and hardcore bands have come from New Jersey over the years, but Senses Fail always stand out even if their music doesn't. The existential pop-punks took their name from Buddhism and the concept of Nirvana and singer James 'Buddy' Nielsen has 'follow your bliss' - the mantra of religious philosopher Joseph Campbell - tattooed across his chest. Which is pretty heavy for a 24-year-old frontman of a pop-punk band.
SF's third LP, 'Life Is Not A Waiting Room', deals wrestles with the big question: 'What is life for?', inspired by Nielsen's relationship with a fan called Marcel who died of cancer, and is also a break up record.
'Family Tradition' is therefore pretty stirring and urgent stuff, the anthem factor upped even more by the presence of Hot Water Music's Jason Black on bass (apparently this is only a temporary measure but he hasn't left yet). They fire their pop-punk template into the stars much like Angels & Airwaves do but land a lot closer to Earth than they might like. Blink 18-U2, if you will.
1. Family Tradition