Pierce the Veil - Misadventures
For this Music Monday, we’ve got a special review!
Pierce the Veil’s Misadventures released three days ago, and we got our hands on the gorgeous vinyl! As it is, we're complete suckers for marbled vinyl. The candy-red and white label combined with the hand-drawn cover is just yummy.
There are times that you need to simply harness the energy of intense feelings. If there’s any band to do it, it’s Pierce the Veil. I first came across them when they toured with All Time Low back in 2006, the year before I graduated from High School. It was the golden age of the Vans Warped Tour, of chunky checkered wristbands and raccoon striped hair.
Now almost 10 years later, Pierce the Veil honors its screamo roots while flaunting some pretty serious mettle with their riffs, 80s homages, even jazz elements. Seriously, listen to the soaring choruses in harmony and blazing guitar lines and tell me you don’t want to fist pump at least a little.
Despite the sound that takes you back to the angsty days of adolescence, Misadventures actually puts out a very positive sound overall. That's pretty impressive considering the angry, bitter lyrics. There’s a bit of hope mixed with nostalgia in its upbeat, catchy tunes almost in spite of its own lyrics. It’s the kind of thing you bob your head and find yourself singing along to. It may be that even after 10 years, Pierce the Veil still holds the intrinsic ability to find parts of yourself you may have forgotten.
Like the checkered Vans in the back of your closet you wrote “RAWR X3” on in ballpoint pen, Misadventures awakens old feelings, necessary feelings.
Cause you don't even know you're an angel
Foolish am I for the times I come and go
These stars defy love, so I close my eyes
And sleep inside your worn-in bed outline
Their fourth studio album took a great deal longer than some of their others, as they chose to dig deeper lyrically and musically. From thoughtful and poignant songs about a passed on friend (“Gold Medal Ribbon”) to even referencing the Bataclan Massacre during an Eagles of Death Metal concert in November of 2015. (“Circles.”) Misadventures doesn't mince words. Knowing that background, the song takes a sinister tone:
You took my hand and then we both started running
Both started running
There's no place to go
Another bullet and we both started running
Both started running too
Save yourself, don't ever look back
Nowhere to go and so we both spin around in circles
Sooo you guys wanna go to in-and-out later?
But they insist it’s not a morbid fascination. Frontman Vic Fuentes explains in an interview with Radio.com,
“I remember the words of one of the guys in Eagles of Death Metal saying that so many people died trying to save their friends and I just thought that was such an amazing sad thing—people trying to save each other. I wrote the song as if I was at the show with my girlfriend or my best friend and shit went down, what would we be trying to do—what would be going on in our minds.”
Which just makes the determined, almost confident “Let’s go!” at the end a command more than a death sentence.
The tales of never ending summers, falling apart, sleeping in your car, and clouds of cigarette smoke still swirl around Misadventures, like an inviting memory. What’s wild to think about is, I’m personally on the older end of this party. I’m so glad that Pierce the Veil is still rocking the way I remember, for the generations who come after.
Jaime Precaido put it this way in an interview with Aussie site Musicfeeds:
“It’s like the most rewarding thing ever. We’ve always been about seeing yourself as a teen and seeing little versions of yourself running around and thinking “that used to be me, man!”. Now we’re here playing, it’s such a cool reverse role. And our fans are freaking crazy, man. They have a great time, so I’ll have thoughts for them and hope they stick around as long as we do.”
That’s what’s amazing about Pierce the Veil- even as they change and grow, the tumultuous years of adolescence don’t. These four San Diego dudes know how to encapsulate the vulnerability, veracity, and sheer velocity of coming of age. That’s a rare talent to hang on to, and I hope they never lose it, and just keep pushing their envelope. I’m throwing up the horns in your honor, guys.