Saturday 16 February 2013

Failsafe - Routines

I remember seeing Failsafe play at Slam Dunk festival god knows how many years ago. I was a bit drunk at the time and a lot of stuff passed me by, including their set. That's not to say I wasn't interested, I was just lost in a moment. Anyway, Routines has been sat in my inbox for a bit and I need something to break the spell of endless dirge and the onset of man-flu.

It seems like these guys have been around forever, kind of on the fringes of the mainstream but always there and always delivering solid music. I also never knew that they were from Preston. Failsafe play a kind of pop-punk, alternative rock medley so it's a little different to what's on these pages but nobody minds deviation do they!


1. The Persistence of Memory
2. Routines
3. Sleepwalkers
4. Skin and Bones
5. Early Hours
6. Dead to the World
7. Light of the Day
8. Every Cycle
9. Something to Someone
10. Worth the Weight

The Persistence of Memory starts with an intro that features a ticking clock, which was a bit random. Failsafe's music has a lot of pace and is definitely very radio friendly. Their sound reminds me of bands like All American Rejects and even Lostprophets in certain parts. The drums and guitars are loud, but disappear into the mix slightly when the vocals are in full flow. The title track Routine has a more garage-punk slant to it, due to the mic effects used during the singing. It's a very shout along type of song and would be really good live. Very good on the ear and slick.

Sleepwalkers sounds like it's about to break into a house song. There's a simple but slightly off kilter beat going on and loads of melody. Failsafe rely more on their alternative, radio friendly influences more than their pop-punk influences here and that may put people off the record, but if you're less discerning about the music you listen to you'll find plenty to get into. The end of Sleepwalkers is a pleasant surprise though; with some downtuned riffs adding some much needed bite.

Failsafe don't go for overly long songs on Routines, such is their musical direction that instead they make sure that the majority weigh in at around four-five minutes. That does tend to be the attention span of most mainstream radio listeners but for Failsafe, it works and provides them with just enough time to make their impact felt. One thing they are good at though is making songs like Skin and Bones sound mighty, thanks to some really good guitar work and catchy rhythms.

Early Hours sees them veer from the grandeur of the previous song, back to their more straightforward song structures. What it does have though is some great lead work, which adds plenty of colour to the song. If you take a step back and stop trying to analyse the music on Routines (like I have been doing above), it sounds fresher and starts to grow on you. I'm not saying it should be background music though, as Failsafe deserve a lot more than that, but it just sounds totally different. At this point, you may wonder what the hell I'm talking about, but just run with it. Even though there is a heavy US rock influence here and you've heard it all before, when you disconnect, it actually takes on a new image. One that reminds you of more innocent times, before you were corrupted by feedback and roaring leviathans.

Every Cycle is another one of Failsafe's more grandiose songs, which alongside earlier track Skin and Bones is probably a standout for me. As the outro of Something To Someone swathes in and the out of the speakers and final song, Worth The Wait plays out, Routines comes to an end. Overall, Failsafe have a decent effort in Routines. Yes, they are catering to a certain audience but they may as well do what they know. Everybody started out their musical journey's listening to the radio and music like this, so it's bound to take you back to earlier times and experiences and that's no bad thing at all!­­­­

Routines isn't streaming anywhere. You can however hear selected tracks here and here

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