For those who are not familiar with the band Pierce The Veil, this is a great place to start, the second album of this talented, diverse, and dynamic band "Selfish Machines" was released on June 21, 2010 !!
We became acquainted with the band following the song "King for a Day" from the band's third album "Collide with the Sky" which was released in 2012 and gained a lot of exposure on YouTube.
But then we went back to their previous albums and this album grabbed us really hard, it is a kind of identity card of the band that is not afraid to use its talent to explore different and weird styles, dynamics, and rhythms including the use of the infamous tool - Autotune.
Leading the band is mainly Vic Fuentes who is the lead singer, guitarist, and writer. Together with producer Mike Green they took the quartet material and created this excellent album that reached number one on the Billboard US Heatseekers albums chart.
Vic wrote most of the songs on the album except for three songs he co-wrote with Tom Denney who was a member of the band "A Day to Remember".
It's very difficult to define the style of the band, in our opinion it is so diverse, unpredictable, and out of the box in such a large and modern way that it's just amazing. The iTunes team defined it as follows:
"blurs emo, prog rock, and post-hardcore"
But Vic defined it as an album for the band's listeners and fans that is super fun and will go wild with live performances that the audience will sing along with the band.
(Photo: Fearless Records)
The album opens with "Bestios" which has a crazy Latin beat with roars and popping riffs that just throw you off the chair even before you reach the caressing chorus, less than a minute has passed and you have already been driven by a variety of different rhythms and vocals. The song describes a relationship that was written from the girl's point of view.
The next track "Southern Constellations" is the opening section to the third song "The Boy Who Could Fly" which opens with a crazy rhythm of guitars and drums and returns the band to its punk roots. Note that in the band's music, it is very difficult to keep track of the sound of the guitar, it is very strongly mixed with other elements and especially with the drums (try to isolate and see), by the way, Mike Fuentes is Vic's brother and drummer of the band (as of today he is out of the band due to sexual harassment to one of the band's fan), playing this song and all songs with one bass pedal. What a beauty of dynamics there is to this song that breaks at once in the chorus with Vic’s screams, such fun to sing along with.
Moving on to "Caraphernelia" which is also a song based on a relationship that Vic had with his ex-girlfriend. His friend Jeremy McKinnon from the band "A Day to Remember" gives his growling abilities here and turns this song into an interesting and winding combination of punk / metal and hard rock, a sheer pleasure...
The fifth song on the album "Fast Times at Clairemont High" is an egoistic song by Vic that says that if "I can not have you then no one can". The name of the song is a tribute to the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" but changed according to the name of the high school where the Fuentes brothers studied.
Another Latin influence is felt in the song "The New National Anthem" which opens with a Spanish guitar fret. A kind of elastic love song, nice and not sticky! Where will you find a song that starts with a Spanish fret, continues to distortions, and even screams later, an amazing "fruit salad" !!
We already understood that a relationship is a subject that Vic deals with a lot in songs, you can understand, he was still a teenager. In the song "Bulletproof Love" he combines his love for songs that have a happy dynamic and a fun rhythm with dark and difficult lyrics, there is a lot of that in the band's albums and it is very special. This song was written as a kind of suicide note about a guy who is obsessed with a girl he can't get...
The next song was written as a sort of buffer on the album, "Stay Away from My Friends" is a quiet song based on keyboards and acoustic guitar. The band wanted to give the listener a moment of rest from the frenzy of the first part of the album and therefore created it in a completely different way from the songs before and after it.
The ninth song on the album "I Don't Care If You're Contagious" which returns to the band's crazy/messy/diverse dynamics, is a song written by Vic following the story of a fan who lost her partner in a car accident. Vic wrote the song from a friend's point of view.
What a beautiful opening to the song "Disasterology", a simply superb song !!
Following the next song, "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)", the band received a lot of fire and harsh reviews due to the use of Autotune which sounds obvious here, but for us it is ridiculous !! Use whatever you want and can to create your music, period! What a beauty of song structure, opening, verses, passages, and chorus, we just love this combination that so characterizes this quartet.
The song that closes the album, "The Sky Under the Sea" returns once again to the band's punk origins with excellent drumming by Mike, one of our favorite drummers (not so much right now!!). Great ending to a great album !!
Not many know this band and we set ourselves a goal to change that, so even if it sounds too messy to you, not classic, maybe even too "teen", we highly recommend you to give this band a chance. A very talented quartet with a very special style !! You are also welcome to read about their latest and all-too-fine album "Misadventures".
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