Review: Pierce The Veil – Misadventures
Pierce The Veil
Fearless / Caroline
“It’s been four years, this better be bloody good” seems to be the resounding consensus whenever somebody brings up the forthcoming Pierce The Veil album Misadventures. That portion of the San Diego post-hardcore band’s fanbase will be pleased to know that this album is everything that they wanted it to be, if not more.
Anyone listening to Pierce The Veil’s output should follow the same principle that the international mining industry does: the deeper you dig, the more value you’ll find. One run-through of this LP simply won’t do – there’s too much to discover. What seems poppy on the surface could be a Kleenex-requiring lament on the Paris attacks (“Circles”). What sounds like a runaway song could actually be a scathing critique of online society (“Floral & Fading”). There’s more than one track that you’d have to skip on public transport to avoid crying next to the awkward businessman sitting next to you, including “Gold Medal Ribbon”, a eulogy dedicated to frontman Vic Fuentes’ ex-girlfriend that’s 50% Tears For Fears vibes and one half emotional pain that you did not sign up for.
Though Misadventures will rip your heart open, PTV don’t use typically sappy acoustics to express their sentiments. “Song For Isabelle”, by far one of the best songs they’ve ever penned, is a narrative and conflicted album closer that doesn’t keep it predictable at all (all the way down to its Ahmad reference). That’s not to say that LP4 isn’t aggressive. It still has its fair share of breakdowns, which oddly remain non-gimmicky, as well as both the fastest and shortest songs the Californian crew have ever written. On “Phantom Power & Ludicrous Speed”, above punching electric guitars and a bolting tempo, there’s even a murder: “as my body lays/before you now/do you feel my skin/ is cold?”
At the end of the day, the instrumentals of Misadventures are like a choir that Fuentes both teaches and conducts; his voice navigates through its complexity and becomes part of the chaos rather than being separate from it, even using lyricism to push it further, to “play the beat faster”. Its theatrics will recall shades of Pierce The Veil’s 2007 debut, A Flair For The Dramatic, while its story-charm and harmonies are nostalgic for their sophomore offering Selfish Machines (2010). But among everything – comparisons and uncleans and romances – is a sincerity that justifies why this album took so goddamn long to make and forces you to play it again. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you to bring tissues.
Misadventures is out May 13 via Fearless/Caroline.