Misadventures Review

artist: Pierce the Veil date: 05/18/2016 category: compact discs
Pierce the Veil: Misadventures
Released: May 13, 2016
Genre: Post-Hardcore, Emocore, Pop Punk
Label: Fearless Records
Number Of Tracks: 11
After getting ambitious in growing their emocore sound in their third album, Pierce The Veil return with a more straightforward emocore offering in their fourth album, "Misadventures."
 Sound: 7
 Lyrics: 7
 Overall Impression: 7
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overall: 7
Misadventures Featured review by: UG Team, on may 18, 2016
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Sound: After the breakup of their previous band Before Today, brothers Vic and Mike Fuentes took what remaining ideas they had and started Pierce The Veil right after, composing everything by themselves for their 2007 debut album, "A Flair for the Dramatic." With that, Pierce The Veil would grow into a full lineup and tour with the who's who of emocore bands, but 2010 proved to be a pivotal year for the band's presence in the scene - along with the Fuentes brothers being a part of Craig Owens and Jonny Craig's anticipated but short-lived supergroup Isles & Glaciers, Pierce The Veil got to work with A Day To Remember's Jeremy McKinnon and Tom Denny for their follow-up album, "Selfish Machines." Having properly established themselves as the next emocore band to pay attention to, their third album, 2012's "Collide With the Sky," manifested more songwriting aspirations on top of the band's emocore backbone with a wider array of sounds and styles (although some moments did have the band sounding like they had their noses buried in the Chiodos recipe book).

Having been four years since the highly-acclaimed "Collide With the Sky," Pierce The Veil's fourth album, "Misadventures," has been long anticipated by the emo subculture at large. But though the expansive display of their previous album suggests "Misadventures" would take things a step further in the band's prog aspirations, Pierce The Veil instead reel things back closer to their baseline emocore sound of their earlier albums. Their fundamental instrumental elements has improved, heard most notably in the fleeting riffs in "Dive In," "Texas Is Forever," and "Sambuka," as well as the abundant guitar layers in "Today I Saw The Whole World," but their lower-geared moments also come out well, heard in the standout bass performances in "Circles" and the hint-of-'80s style of "Gold Medal Ribbon," and their homage to Weezer-brand pop punk in "Floral & Fading" also impresses without banking on unrelenting energy.

However, the other point in which Pierce The Veil try to elaborate upon this root style again is by way of excessive production value, which manifests mixed results. While the synth elements donned upon "Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed" aren't as egregious as the average electronicore song, the synthetic breaks and flicker fills in "The Divine Zero" is another example of post-production draining the visceral energy out of an otherwise decent emocore cut. Other definitive synth elements meant to spruce sections up also come off tinselly and superfluous, whether it be the choral tones inserted in the breakdown of "Song for Isabelle," the saccharine string sections in the bridge of "Bedless," or the band's continued use of Ill Niño-derived hand drum layers thrown in "Gold Medal Ribbon." // 7

Lyrics: Whereas Vic Fuentes described the meaning behind his lyrics in "Collide With the Sky" as being an inspiration to break free from whatever chaos that ensnares you, his lyrics in "Misadventures" come off more like rolling with the punches that chaos throws and trying to live in the moment as best as you can. Some of these examples show a benefit to the considerable carelessness, like his unconcerned romantic foray that's set to fail in "Bedless" ("These stars defy love, so I close my eyes / And sleep inside your worn-in bedline"), but plenty of narratives Fuentes brings in the album interpret that "living in the moment" adage with a scathingly honest air of conceitedness and melodrama, heard in the spitefully impulsive and destructive emotions in "Dive In" ("Now I wanna be the tattoo ink that swims down through the needle in your skin / And I wish I was poisonous"), "Phantom Power and Ludicrous Speed" ("I'd put a bullet in my head if I ever lost you now"), the masochistic "Today I Saw the Whole World" ("While you stood over the curb / I was biting the curb / Sick entertainment / But I'll bet it feels good coming down"), as well as the bargaining for substantial happiness through shallow sex in "The Divine Zero" ("And life is a joke / At least I can love you, naked and tattooed"). But even with these many examples showing how optimism-deficient his mind can work, Fuentes shows his attempts to try and keep his feet on the ground in the face of flighty emotions in "Circles" ("I think about my life without you and I start to cry / And I said 'Hey, it's alright' / We'll make it / I love you and I'll never leave your side"). // 7

Overall Impression: Despite Pierce The Veil's previous album setting the stage for this high anticipation for album #4, "Misadventures" doesn't necessarily supersede its predecessor. Compared to the more ambitious compositions heard in "Collide with the Sky," the emocore output displayed in "Misadventures" is more conventional, and the extended amount of production tricks thrown into the album compared to their previous albums also makes for a few tiffs here and there. But outside of that, "Misadventures" does improve upon its instrumental prowess, and abstracted from the genre-gallivating likes of "Collide with the Sky," the new album makes for a good successor to the band's earlier emocore albums. // 7

- Sam Mendez (c) 2016

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