Pierce the Veil Lays Bare Their Emotional ‘Misadventures’

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

Conor O’Brien

Pierce the Veil is back at it again with its new album Misadventures, which was finally released on May 13, 2016.

Pierce the Veil, a post-hardcore band that was formed in 2006 by Vic and Mike Fuentes, released its debut album A Flair for the Dramatic in 2007. The band was joined by lead guitarist Tony Perry and bassist Jaime Preciado a few months later. Now on its fourth album, Misadventures, it has been a long time coming for fans of the band. It has been an almost four year gap after its last release — Collide with the Sky — in 2012.

Misadventures is an apt name for the album. It seems like every song deals with something that started off well and then went very wrong — fast. The album starts with “Dive In,” which gives an impression of a relationship that was simply a waste of time and that strains your soul. One that has left you with venom swirling in your veins — I’m sure you might know the type.

I’d say “Gold Medal Ribbon” is the most interesting-sounding track on the album. It really leapt out because of its brief synthesizer intro. This intro seems to mimic or foreshadow the theme of the song, the past, but you are quickly blasted back to the familiar tone of Vic’s voice and Tony’s guitar.

The lyrics seem to be about a the memory of a lost friend: “Are you up there?/Just give me a signal I’m reaching for you now/Because I remember the sound of your voice…I swear that I can hear you in the wind/You’re singing to me.” It is as if to say that even though your dear friend might be gone, all you can do is try to hold on to those distant memories.

If I had to pick one song that seems a bit out of place or doesn’t seem to be as strong as the others on the album, I’d reluctantly say that “Circles” doesn’t have the lyrical complexity of the rest of the tracks.

The genre may be a bit more niche than it once was, but Pierce the Veil still has its unique sound. Rest assured that its lyrics are as heavy as a looming phantom power and that its tempo still has its ludicrous speed.

Critics might sardonically say that the lyrics fit just like a snug sweater from middle school, one that you can’t let go of, and that the only real appeal might just be all the nostalgia. Maybe there’s some truth to that, but all the same this method of expression strikes at the heart of what it is to despair, to anguish and angst. Its combination of angry, quick and disturbed lyrics descended from the legacy of punk rock with gnarly, piercing vocals, guitars that sing and wail and drums which crash and echo against the world, capturing the essence of these emotions in a way that’s unique to the genre and to Pierce the Veil.

Overall, the album conveys a cathartic and unadulterated expression of the messy and darker sides of the human condition. One filled with vitriol and rancor for a world that seems often too cruel to bare. This is just what fans expected from Pierce the Veil, yet Misadventures still somehow carries some semblance of hope. Within the lyrics, there are undertones of a somber and passionate vitality that has a cool sense of optimism in an otherwise vicious world.

This is exemplified in the final lyrics of “The Divine Zero”: “Your serotonin’s gone/The kerosene is gone/The sunset is gone/So hold on.”