Recommended Tracks: “Death Of An Executioner”, “Even When I’m Not With You”, “Damn The Man, Save The Empire”
Artists You May Like: Sleeping With Sirens, Dance Gavin Dance, All Time Low
Do you remember where you were seven years ago? Who was in your life? What did you do for fun? It may seem like forever ago, especially since time has frozen, sped up, and moved backwards in the past few years. For fans of self-proclaimed mexicore band Pierce The Veil, these past seven years have been very long; the last time the guys put out an album was in 2016 with Misadventures. Before that, the wait time between albums was four years, as the Misadventures predecessor, Collide With The Sky, was released in 2012. Still, Pierce The Veil use their time wisely, making sure that every release surpasses expectations. For their fifth studio album, The Jaws Of Life, the band is ready to give the world their “best record yet,” pushing themselves as artists to deliver fresh, interesting, and strong songs that make up for lost time.
Throughout The Jaws Of Life, there is a theme that centers on tragic romance. This is a topic that Pierce The Veil cover well, often marrying beauty and pain in their work and overall aesthetic. On this album, we have tracks like “Death Of An Executioner,” where lead vocalist Vic Fuentes tries to rage against the night to overcome a loss. He sings in the choruses, “Blood red moonlight / Gaining ‘til you’re over me / Beautiful as everything is crumbling / The flames dance off your eyes.” We also have “Flawless Execution,” where we hear about a creepy, stalker-style attraction. In the track, we get acquainted with someone who is “loneliness defined” and claims “I’m not obsessed, far worse, I’m fine.” The sweetness of the song distracts from these suspicious lyrics, the melodies and bright choruses implying that this could be an innocent love song, not a fatal ballad. The closing track of “12 Fractures” moves beyond obsession, with Vic teaming up with Chloe Moriondo to tell the story of a couple enduring a split. Vic and Chloe trade verses throughout the track to paint a defeated picture, but we sense that it is best for the two to part ways even if “there were shortcuts into Heaven” through each others’ eyes.
There are moments when love wins, however, defeating some of the darkness. On the grungy “Emergency Contact,” we get a little playful. It stays within the realm of “beautifully tragic,” but the flirty lines like “I can bring the sex appeal” and “You look good under the LEDs” make it less dismal. The vibe gets more intimate on “Even When I’m Not With You,” which is about a patient kind of love. Over fuzzy guitar and skittering beats, we get glimpses of the ”Red-lipped Snow White” that Vic sings about and how he is all for taking things slow. The bridge is where his love explodes, giving us poetic lines like “Even when I’m not with you, I’m still with you / Even when I can’t see you, I still feel you / Even when I can’t touch you, I pretend to.”
Moving away from these relationships and connections, The Jaws Of Life also focuses on that need to survive. The high-energy “Pass The Nirvana” begs for something good to come along and save everyone from the chaos happening outside, to cut “through the tension.” Some salvation is found on “Resilience,” though, a slower, less aggressive track that moves past all the downfalls and disappointments. Even though we get the boastful “You’re jealous of my resilience” line in the choruses, it almost comes across as encouraging, tempting the listener to find that inner strength. The title track shares in some of this optimism, conflicting thoughts like “Now part of me has holes in it / And part of me is whole” and “Part of me is younger now / And part of me is old” indicating that it is worth it to carry on.
Overall, The Jaws Of Life is the album that Pierce The Veil has been working towards. At this point in their career, they are able to take chances and experiment without second-guessing, using all they have learned to their advantage. The personal details, such as the quote from Dazed and Confused at the beginning of “Resilience” or the “Irrational Fears” interlude definitely take the artistry of a band who knows what they’re doing and can see the bigger picture. While the album still retains vibrant riffs, pleading vocals, and gloomy lyrics inherent to the band, it incorporates new elements and techniques that elevate the project and band as a whole. It is definitely risky to take seven years to release an album, but it was a risk worth taking. Perfection takes time.
You can listen to The Jaws Of Life on platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud.