California based super group Speak The Truth… Even If Your Voice Shakes was founded by Senses Fail vocalist Buddy Nielsen and ex-Finch members Alex Linares (guitar), Daniel Wonacroft (guitar), and Alex Pappas (drums) back in the spring of last year. The band offered a first taste of this new venture with the release of their debut single ‘Crash My Car’ in the Autumn. Now, almost a year on, Speak The Truth are back with their highly anticipated debut album, ‘Everyone You Love Will Slip Away From You’.
One element of this record that’s immediately striking is the contrast between the upbeat instrumentals and downbeat lyricism. When fronting Senses Fail, Nielsen‘s lyrics are known to be brutal, honest, and largely focused on the issues surrounding mental health (the band’s 2004 concept album, ‘Still Searching’, is actually written from the perspective of the protagonist’s anxiety and depression).
In the case of Speak The Truth‘s material, Nielsen is doing just that and once again, and is reflecting on the struggles of mental illness, admitting that “I write best when I’m depressed and anxious / Nobody wants to hear about the sunny side of life” in ‘Drowning In The Sidewalk, Or Dying Inside’. Linares and Wonacroft deliver bright ascending guitar melodies across the record, which are a great compliment to Neilson‘s downtrodden lyrics.
The downside of ‘Everyone You Love…’ falls onto the fact that quite a few of the songs stick to the same formula, and begin to give the album a repetitive feel. Despite this, the likes of ‘Go For The Throat’ and ‘At Least There’s Always Lexapro’ pull the record up from the issue. The former of the two bares a resemblance to ‘Enemy Of The World’ era Four Year Strong as it injects a hint of easy-core influence into the album, featuring chugging guitars and lively gang vocals. Meanwhile, the latter allows Nielsen to show off the harsher side to his voice during the intense verses.
Despite the repetitiveness, ‘Everyone You Love…’ is still quite a solid record overall. It’s a great combination of early Senses Fail and Finch material with a modern twist that brings all the early 2000s nostalgia crashing into 2017 wonderfully.
Written by Phoebe Constable (@phoebecnstable)