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Senses Fail live @ UniBar, Adelaide

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Senses Fail with Life Pilot, Sierra & Bombora
Adelaide UniBar – Saturday 11 August 2013

On a cold Winter’s night in Adelaide, Senses fail dig deep into their history to deliver the very best of their catalogue before a packed house in Adelaide.  

It was easy to feel sympathetic toward opening local act Bombora as the Adelaide UniBar was practically empty during their set, besides some disinterested bar enthusiasts more taken with the pool tables. Admirably, the band soldiered on with a creditable performance of metalcore by numbers not dissimilar to UK favourites Architects. It was well executed, especially when they embraced the Every Time I Die influence in their riffs. “Life’s Blood” was a standout track and with more shows and experience under their belts, this five-piece could become an outfit worth checking out.

Mount Gambier tour enthusiasts Sierra had the fortune of playing second tonight to a growing crowd which, as a matter of fact, benefitted not only the quintet, but the audience as well. Australia beware: these kids are definitely onto something great with their brand of emotional hardcore. Easily a superior outfit, their passionate and aggressive performance quickly had jaws dropping and even mosh admirers running around the stubborn Cooper’s Pale Ale merchants. The five-piece utilise their stage space perfectly and could look at home anywhere from a pub to a stadium. They brought superb intensity and it’s truly great to see a small-town band inspired by fantastic but relatively unknown acts like Kentucky-based screamos Xerxes performing at an international level. Vocalist Brett Kennedy even joined the crowd offstage, delivering his heartfelt and hostile vocals face-to-face, which was quite enjoyable. I recommend you get out and experience Sierra before the end of the year. In fact, I were a member of California’s Being As An Ocean, who are touring this September with Sierra in support, I would want to be at my best for fear of being outplayed by these Mount Gambier natives.

Adelaide’s best kept secret Life Pilot were next to grace the stage and had quite the task in front of them of following the prior act; not that it was a competition as all bands formidably shouted their love for the other bands right through the night. Life Pilot’s violent stage approach and The-Chariot-influenced sound has always impressed this scribe and this performance was no different – explosive, chaotic and insane, this quintet could have easily headlined the event. Featuring songs from their astonishing split EP with Perth’s Statues, entitled Compass, LP confronted the crowd with the stage barrier no obstacle.

Drummer Eli Green is above human with his rhythm abilities – no wonder The Mark Of Cain are utilising his unbridled skills of late – and the remaining members showed equal ferocity, matching Green beat for beat.

As vocalist Buddy Nielsen explained in the prior interview with HEAVY magazine, this is not the same Senses Fail of the past. Once the band begun their assault, this became blatantly evident. Buddy does not front his army of men like he did in his past, and his approach is more akin to that of hardcore bands like Have Heart or the criminally-underrated Verse. For Senses Fail, this glove fits well.

Staying true to Nielsen’s word, the band showcased tracks from new album Renacer with songs like Mi Amor and Between The Mountains And The Seas presenting the quintet at their peak, but fans demand the past be acknowledged. “You’re Cute When You Scream”, “Lady in a Blue Dress”, “Rum is For Drinking Not For Burning”, “Buried a Lie”, “Calling All Cars”, “Can’t Be Saved” and “Bite To Break Skin” all made welcome appearances and had Adelaide’s UniBar invigorated with a new sense of vitality.

To be honest, beer just tastes sweeter when hearing favourite tracks from former days, especially with Buddy’s unique and peculiar vocal melodies, and the crowd responded with vigour. Ultimately this may be the last time Australia is fortunate enough to experience songs from the band’s past ten years and many left delighted for the opportunity because, as punters were repeatedly assured, next time will be different again.

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