Senses Fail‘s latest offering In Your Absence is striking for several reasons. Firstly the lack of the band’s signature heavy sound, replaced by a much calmer, lighter acoustic tone. Secondly by the weight offered up by the lyrics. Vocalist Buddy Nielsen’s wife reportedly suffers from multiple sclerosis and there is a real sense on this EP that the gravity of going through such a situation weighs heavy on Nielsen.
Singing of hope, love, and a real thought towards the possibility of loss, the sheer bravery on display to pour out such emotion on record is admirable. It brings the EP up from what would otherwise be considered a very middle of the road record to a proper tearjerker.
The last two songs on the EP ‘Family Tradition’ and ‘Lost and Found’ both are found on previous records Life is not a Waiting Room and Still Searching. They both centre around the issues of alcoholism and the effects on family and are fitting songs to hand the acoustic treatment to. Both songs will be a real fan pleaser and contribute nicely to the overall tone of the EP.
Overall the EP is a great accomplishment and one that is great to have on in the background. Personally, I think it’s a great move from the band to step away from their normal, heavier sound and change their style for this EP and it’s paid off really well. The real magic from this though is when you give it the time to listen to every word and hear every emotion Nielsen is trying to portray here. It is an emotional listen but it’s one definitely worth listening to.