SENSES FAIL: Let It Enfold You Tour

SENSES FAIL: Let It Enfold You Tour

Senses Fail (9:45 PM)

No Bragging Rights (9:00 PM)

To The Wind (8:15 PM)

Knuckle Puck (7:30 PM)

Thu, September 4, 2014

6:30 pm

Adv Tix $18.00 / Day of Show Tix $21.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

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Senses Fail - (Set time: 9:45 PM)
Senses Fail
Just a few seconds of Renacer, the latest full-length by Ridgewood, NJ’s Senses Fail, is about all it takes to grasp the title, which when translated from Spanish, means “to be reborn.” Without question, the album captures the band at a sonic crossroads, literally redefining themselves, while furiously etching a bold and entirely unexpected new chapter for Senses Fail.

Boasting a significantly heavier and more musically adventurous sound than past releases, Renacer is a reflection of the band in 2013, in terms of both creative interests and current personnel. After more than a decade of existence and multiple lineup changes, singer Buddy Nielsen said the band now has the freedom and desire to embrace change.

“I’ve always wanted the band to move towards being less pop-driven and heavier and more exploratory,” says Nielsen. “We needed to change it up, do something different and move forward.”

It’s a brazen, but not illogical, creative progression for a band that’s largely helped define post-hardcore from the early millennium and onward. Senses Fail formed in 2002 and released their debut EP, From the Depths of Dreams, earning immediate notoriety amid a burgeoning scene, then catapulted into the stratosphere with 2004′s Let It Enfold You—their first full-length—which peaked at #34 on the Billboard Top 200 and sold more than 400,000 to date. Without skipping a beat the band followed Enfold with the dark 2006 masterpiece Still Searching, which debuted at #15 on the Top 200 chart, and the hauntingly powerful Life Is Not A Waiting Room in 2008, hitting #18 on the Top 200. Another full-length, The Fire, was released in 2010 and charted at #32 on the Top 200, while the band also added a greatest hits compilation to their discography—Follow Your Bliss: The Best Of Senses Fail—in 2012. To date, Senses Fail have performed countless worldwide tours, sharing stages with some of the most important artists of the past decade, while the band’s record sales approach 1.2 million-mark.

In recent years the core of the band has shifted, most notably with original member and key songwriter Garrett Zablocki (guitars) departing after The Fire release, to be replaced by Strike Anywhere guitarist Matt Smith, who teams up on Renacer with guitarist Zack Roach. The shifting dynamic created a more collaborative writing process for the band, who also co-wrote with Jeremy Comitas, Nielsen’s collaborator in side project Bayonet. And for perhaps the most sweeping change, Senses Fail tapped producer/Far guitarist Shaun Lopez (Deftones, Crosses, VersaEmerge) and recorded at Lopez’s Airport studio in L.A., instead of using longtime collaborator Brian McTernan, who helmed the last three Senses Fail full-lengths.

“We needed to change everything up. I don’t think we would have written these types of songs if we knew we were going with McTernan. We would have had a different approach,” Nielsen explains. “Dan and I said, ‘Let’s do something different: Let’s get someone different, let’s record it somewhere else, let’s write with some other people, let’s not put any boundaries on what we want to do.’”

The result of this artistic loosening of the reins is inarguably the band’s heaviest, most punishing release to date, and also their most wildly unpredictable. From the opening strains of the pummeling title track that kicks off Renacer, the album pulses with weighty, sludge-splattered guitars and rhythms both primal and guttural, offset at the ideal moment by classic melodic Senses Fail choruses and lush, shoegazey interludes. These brief, fleeting moments of auditory bliss are all the more precious with another sonic beat-down waiting just around the bend.

“We wanted there to be space, because we wanted the record to sound heavy and open,” explains Nielsen. “If you want something to sound heavy, it’s about the space, not necessarily just the chord structures or the screaming.”

The spirit of evolution didn’t stop at the music, either. Known in the past for writing lyrics as a form of self-therapy, this time Nielsen focused on communicating outward with listeners, sharing the keys to personal peace and positivity he’s found and encouraging listeners to do the same. “I wanted the dynamic to be very heavy and very aggressive, but the opposite vibe lyrically. It’s really positive, it’s about coming to terms with yourself and being happy, and also motivating the listener,” says Nielsen. “I’d always been so wrapped up in my own shit. I spent all this time trying to fix myself through lyrics, and this was more about what can I offer to somebody that’s listening to this?”

Nielsen’s positive message and perspective is prevalent throughout Renacer, punctuated at pivotal moments like “Closure/Rebirth,” with the singer chanting “Let it go” nearly as a mantra, or the blistering “The Path,” which is sure to be a truly thought-provoking, yet mosh-able moment. A standout track from inception, “The Path” finds Nielsen furiously screaming, “Look in the basement of your heart / There is a light that just went dark” over fuzzy, rumbling bass lines. More than just a moment of hardcore chest-pounding, such pointed words reflect the spirit of introspection that pervades Renacer.

“I want the person to feel engaged by listening to the record, like they’re being pushed to look at themselves and ask questions I don’t think people are usually asked or are put in a position to ask themselves,” says Nielsen. “That was my intention: to get people to examine their lives and who they are.”

Another track that offers something Senses Fail fans have certainly never heard before from the band is “Mi Amor,” which features a majority of the lyrics sung in Spanish. Born from a spontaneous moment of studio inspiration, for Nielsen the song was a means to stretch out vocally, and also offer a “thank you” to the group’s many Hispanic followers.

“It’s always something we wanted to do—take one of the songs we’ve written and do it in Spanish,” Nielsen explains. “When I was writing it, all the things I wanted to say kind of fit rhythmically and rhyming wise [in Spanish] with what I wanted to do. We just sort of ran with it, and I think it came out great”

Some of those Spanish-speaking fans will surely get a chance to enjoy “Mi Amor” live in the very near future, as Senses Fail plan a full worldwide run in support of Renacer, through 2013 and beyond. Nielsen hinted that the band may also perform some special shows in 2014 to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of Let It Enfold You, but otherwise the group is determined to bring this brave new incarnation of Senses Fail to fans everywhere. According to Nielsen, expect the unexpected.

“I’d like people to start thinking about Senses Fail as, ‘I wonder what they’re going to do next,’ rather than, ‘I think I know what the record will be like,’” says Nielsen. “I definitely want to start the second half of the band as, ‘What can we expect from the next record?’ I don’t think anybody thinks for a minute that this record was going to sound like this.”
No Bragging Rights - (Set time: 9:00 PM)
No Bragging Rights
No Bragging Rights bring the old-school jams and they bring them hard, fast and loud, the way this special kind of pit-friendly music is meant to be played. Evoking an era when kids cared more about circle pits, stage dives, pile-ups and sing-a-longs than flat irons and auto-tuned remixes, No Bragging Rights are the embodiment of the glory of simplicity.

Make no mistake: “NBR” (as their following likes to call them) craft a catchy chorus like nobody’s business. In fact, there are more hooks than your grandfather’s tackle box on Cycles, the band’s new album for Good Fight / eOne Music. But these five Southern Californians are carrying the torch for the region’s tradition of melody blended with metal mastery, livened up all the while by a dash of traditional hardcore groove.

Fans of anything from A Wilhelm Scream to As I Lay Dying to Strung Out will find exciting reference points in No Bragging Rights, whose style sits works equally with fans who go to Warped Tour and Mayhem.

Vocalist Mike Perez wears his heart on his sleeve while guitarists Christian Lee and Daniel Garrow blend chunky riffage with melodic might. The fluid bass playing of Ryan Warrell lays atop Martin Alcedo’s tasteful but driving drum work, resulting in an distinctly powerful sound. The album’s title track sees Perez giving a shout-out to his father, who provided him with a great upbringing despite being a victim of an abusive father himself. “He broke that cycle,” the singer points out.

Sharing stages with the best and brightest of the contemporary scene, NBR’s aim is nothing less than the uplift and empowerment of the disenfranchised youth who know self-loathing, self-doubt and depression too well and call the underground subcultural community home. NBR have been there and are here to tell us it gets better.

“I wish more bands had something to say,” Perez points out. “Those are the types of bands that have inspired me and that’s what I want to pass down. It shouldn’t just be about slogans that will sell t-shirts.”

NBR first began to rumble in Riverside, California in 1999. Envisioned as a pop-punk outfit along the lines of many of the bands who’ve called SoCal home, the band quickly adopted a moniker that symbolized their down to earth and humble attitudes. “You can’t do everything by yourself – especially in a band. You need everyone,” says Perez. “We chose the name No Bragging Rights to represent that no one individual should take all of the credit for what we’ll accomplish. We are a team.”

As the guys graduated from high school their musical horizons broadened to encompass new elements, from the experimental post-hardcore of bands like Thrice to the driving urgent metalcore of local heroes like Stick To Your Guns. The Consequences of Dreams infused more melody into their more metallic sound, with Illuminator following suit and coming full circle with a punk flavor in the metalcore mix.

Cycles delivers on the promise of all that has come before, taking the strongest parts of No Bragging Right’s various eras and coalescing them into their most defining and altogether most exciting work. “We have really figured out what works for us and what doesn’t,” notes Perez.”

The song “Repeater” is a great example of the sound No Bragging Rights have made their own on the new album. It’s catchy, melodic and fast with a killer breakdown. “Repeater” carries on the theme of perseverance and carrying on against life’s challenges and obstacles. “When you get knocked down, get back on the horse,” Perez says simply.

“Hope Theory,” the second track on Cycles, was inspired by the deep connection No Bragging Rights have made with the people who come to their shows. “I am constantly talking with kids coming from broken homes, or the social outcast who is ready to give up. I tell them it will get better. It is always darkest before the dawn. Things can change.”

The album’s closing track bravely tackles one of the biggest issues confronting youth today: body image. “Ascension” is an anthem for those who are overcome by feelings of shame or anxiety about how they look. Perez points out that even those people who society considers beautiful have their problems. “It’s a song about how we are constantly being attacked by other people, by TV and billboards and being told we must be a certain way. People are beautiful for who they are. What makes you different is what makes you special. I’ve always felt that.”

Ultimately the message behind No Bragging Rights and Cycles is one of empowerment, dedication and strength through struggle. “I want people to get into our message as well as our music,” Perez says. “I am very proud of our music. I hope people connect it with the bigger picture.”
To The Wind - (Set time: 8:15 PM)
To The Wind
Knuckle Puck - (Set time: 7:30 PM)
Knuckle Puck
Venue Information:
Troubadour
9081 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA, 90069
http://www.troubadour.com/

All lineups and times subject to change