For Fans Of
In 2002, Finch released their incendiary yet infectious emo classic, ‘What It Is To Burn’. Then in 2004 following their decent 2003 EP ‘From The Depths Of Dreams’, Senses Fail dropped their solid debut LP; the lyrically pissed-off and caustic musical slab of post-hardcore – ‘Let It Enfold You’. The rest, as they so often say in a cliché manner, is history.
Of course, while Senses Fail have done well and survived long up till now, they aren’t the hyped band they once were – they’re still kicking ass though and have a brand new album on the way – yet Finch has sadly gone the way of the Dodo. However, the latter’s legacy has lived and continues to live on in other avenues, including Counterfit, Helen Earth Band (both featuring former Finch drummer, Marc Allen), singer Nate Barcalow’s Private Lives band and in the demo’s of what would’ve been Finch’s fourth and final record, ‘Phantasma‘. Ah, what could’ve been…
Anyway, if you had told most budding emo/post-hardcore/alternative music fan of the early 2000’s that in 2016 a band would form featuring every member of Finch except for Barcalow – guitarist Alex “Grizz” Linares, bassist Daniel Wonacott, drummer Alex Pappas – with Senses Fail’s Buddy Nielsen on vocals, they’d probably laugh at your fringe-covered face. But such an idea isn’t just wishful thinking or some weird fantasy band lineup bollocks, it’s a living, breathing reality! Arriving in the shape of Speak The Truth… Even If Your Voice Shakes, these two scene staple bands collide for what is a nostalgic yet solid sound akin to the early 2000’s punk/post-hardcore/alternative frenzied sounds.
Now, to quote what a friend of mine told me recently, Nicholas Simonsen, Speak The Truth’s debut record basically “sounds like What It Is To Burn without Nate.” And he’s not wrong, not at all – just one listen to the band’s first single ‘Crash My Car‘ pretty much confirms that. But that’s no bad thing!
For the ten songs on ‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away from You‘ really are a love-letter to the energetic and youthful sounds of both Finch’s and Senses Fail’s adored past works. Thankfully, it also all feels honest and genuine from front to back, instead of coming off like some ageing band dudes sadly trying to relive the past for one last dad trip up the mountain and back in a new, soon-to-be-gone supergroup. From the chord progressions and massive pop-punk choruses that punctuate killer tunes like opener ‘The Upside Down‘ or standout ‘Drowning On The Sidewalk Or Dying Inside‘ (a track that Nielsen uses to lyrically calls out the bullshit of the “constantly-sad-artist” persona he and artsist like him have); the aggressive metal drumming underpinning hook-ridden guitars and contrasting hardcore sections heard in ‘At Least There’s Always Lexapro‘ and ‘Crash My Car‘; a sound that nestles right in between both heavy and melodic extremes with ‘Go For The Throat‘ and the title track; the sonically different nature of the electro-ambient closer ‘Show Your Scars‘; to the deep and emotional lyrical content about Nielsen’s own mortality and the singer’s inner reflection on his life thus far heard throughout – it’s all there on this Speak The Truth debut.
So yes, this record really is what many heard and so dearly loved from ‘What It Is To Burn‘, ‘Let It Enfold You‘ and the early 2000’s respectively. But it also proves that the former Finch dudes are still damn talented performers and that Nielsen can still easily craft and nail some huge vocal melodies – an element that’s persisted in Senses Fail and really helped make that band what they are today, something that also bodes well for their upcoming album as well. (And the lyrical crossover about where the singer is with his life right now in ‘If There Is Light, It Will Find You‘ will be an interesting comparison to this record too I feel).
Sure, you’ve heard this many times before, but it’s yet to lose its charm. Especially not when it’s from a collaborative effort from the style’s best bands.
Speak The Truth’s ‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away from You’ is a real throwback record, but it’s the right kind of such an album. One that’s not some cynical cash-grab nor one that’s not at all phoned-in; it’s a genuine record of the original sounds that defined two of the early 2000’s best alternative bands (one of which is still well and truly alive and kicking ass today) – just now coming from grown men who can still hang with the best of ’em and put the younger bands to shame. Yes, its nothing new – not by Senses Fail’s and Finch’s past albums or their wider genre – but it’s delivered with such love, is great example of a supergroup actually delivering (much like END) and is a solid soundtrack to those who miss the early days of the 21st century that it’s hard to argue with it.
The Upside Down
Crash My Car
Carpenter in Prison
Everyone You Love Will Slip Away from You
Drowning on the Sidewalk or Dying Inside
90% English, 100% Unhappy
At Least There’s Always Lexapro
Go for the Throat
Show Your Scars
‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away From You’ is out now. Get it here.