Senses Fail continue to explore the three-way intersection between post-hardcore, screamo, and punk-pop with their third LP. Musically and lyrically, Life Is Not a Waiting Room furthers the dichotomies that helped fuel the band's previous work: heaven and hell, muscle and melody, depression and emotional uplift. There's also a good deal of harmony here, from the dual guitar solos of Garrett Zablocki and Heath Saraceno to the band's use of vocal harmonies. While Senses Fail have always resisted the urge to tone down their hardcore tendencies in favor of a more commercial approach, Life Is Not a Waiting Room still features some surprisingly melodic moments, from "Yellow Angels" -- a ballad that concludes with fist-pumping gang vocals -- to the anthemic "Garden State." The band draws parallels to Further Seems Forever during such moments, where they flaunt their pop-inflected songwriting skills without losing the might that fuels the group's harder songs. Longtime listeners can rest assured that those harder songs haven't been left behind, as tracks like "Lungs Like Gallows" and "Wolves at the Door" find room for rusty-throated screams and double kickdrum thunder. Nonetheless, the band shows the bulk of its growth when melody is emphasized.
AllMusic Review by Andrew Leahey