Selfish Machines Review

artist: Pierce the Veil date: 11/03/2010 category: compact discs
Pierce the Veil: Selfish Machines
Released: Jun 21, 2010
Genre: Post-hardcore/ Experimental rock
Label: Equal Vision
Number Of Tracks: 12
The overall sound of the album is similar to A Flair for the Dramatic; a huge amount of riffs, high pitched vocals, quick tempos, and so on.
 Sound: 9
 Lyrics: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 8.5
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reviews (2) 20 comments vote for this album:
overall: 9
Selfish Machines Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 28, 2010
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sound: The overall sound of the album is similar to A Flair for the Dramatic; a huge amount of riffs, high pitched vocals, quick tempos, and so on. If you liked A Flair for the Dramatic, you'll like Selfish Machines. The one difference I perceived was a dramatic improvement in the talent of the lead guitarist. Vic recorded all the guitar in A Flair for the Dramatic, however it's clear Tony Perry is more apt at quick lead riffs and licks that catch the ear's attention. The opening track, Besitos, has an amazingly catchy guitar lick. The album seems like a natural progression from A Flair for the Dramatic. They have come very close to perfecting the style of music they play. They mix in a variety of sounds into their post-hardcore and it comes out sounding like screamo on acid. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics are in a similar vein to Vic's previous lines. They are somewhat obscure and it takes a bit of thinking to understand what he means. He uses metaphors very often, some would say he overuses them in fact. I find his lyrical style a fresh change from the average song. Relationships are definitely the domain of Pierce the Veil and they do a damn good job of capturing the thoughts of lovers. Vic's high pitched voice is a common aesthetic of modern post-hardcore and Vic has it down pat. However his voice would sound all the more sweeter if he varied up his style a bit. // 9

Overall Impression: It is a shining example of what can be done in the screamo genre. Selfish Machines is one of the best post-hardcore albums I've heard, it is solid throughout and filled to the brim with talent. It can be very chaotic or very structured, depending on the emotion being conveyed. However, I think Vic would do well to vary his approach. After searching for flaws, that is all the negative commentary I could muster. Selfish Machines is a very good album, I did not buy it because I am streaming it off their myspace so I think it would be very hard for someone to steal. The best song's are, in my opinion, Besitos, The Boy Who Could Fly, Caraphernelia, and Disasterology but my favorites will likely change the next time I listen to the album. // 9

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overall: 8.3
Selfish Machines Reviewed by: Thebiz, on november 03, 2010
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sound: Make no mistake, I was not a very big Pierce The Veil fan before I heard this album. Their grandest work to date, Pierce have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with on Selfish Machines, and not just another scene-core band to be listened to and then lumped in with other bands with nice hair and overly gratuitous breakdowns. What comes out of a surprisingly unique, diverse and well-written album such as this is one of the greatest albums of 2010, and one can only wonder after listening to this album why other bands that have been around longer than these guys haven't progressed to this level of mixed complexity and originality. // 9

Lyrics: The lyrics in Selfish Machines offer a picturesque universe fully crafted (and probably embellished a little bit for dramatic effectiveness) by frontman Vic Fuentes, lead vocalist and, as this album proves, a competent guitarist. The spoken word section in "The Boy Who Could Fly" is a perfect example of this visual style of storytelling. Although the lyrics suffer a little bit from the familiarity of the themes of love-gone-bad often found in related bands' lyrics, one can't help but be impressed by some of the clever one-liners Vic delivers, with lead single "Caraphernelia" offering some of the best of these (as well as a guest spot by veteran screamer/pop-punk icon Jeremy McKinnon, which actually strengthens the track whether than weakens it.) There are even some surprising lyrics in songs that may catch the listener off-guard with their subject material, such as in "Fast Times At Clairemont High" and "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)". Along with the lyrics being surprisingly good, Vic's vocals have improved vastly from his band's previous album. Whereas one of the main draws on the previous album was Pierce's combination of atmospheric, creative riffs and Vic's high-pitched, almost feminine whailing. Perhaps as a side effect for singing in Isles and Glaciers with similarly-grouped vocalists Craig Owens and Jonny Craig, Vic's voice soars triumphantly over every song, but the difference in THIS album is his voice simply isn't as sharp and takes on a more swooning characteristic. The listener never feels bombarded with the piercing enunciations that occurred in A Flair For The Dramatic. Whatever the cause, the new transformation in Vic's vocal style doesn't change its tone, but he sounds like a better frontman overall. // 8

Overall Impression: I really can't compare Selfish Machines to anything else that has come out this year. It is full of twists and turns, and brings listeners on a journey that may catch many music fans by surprise. The truth is nobody expected Pierce The Veil's second effort to be this good. With little to no hype or promotion, it's good to know that Pierce The Veil have the passion and talent in them to follow up a pretty different, reputable album with a record that may put them in the big leagues. Only time will tell to see if others catch on. The songs I would recommend for listening most follow: "Besitos, The Boy Who Could Fly, Caraphernelia, The New National Anthem, Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)". // 8

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