Pierce the Veil: Selfish Machines

After much touring and recording, post-hardcore band Pierce the Veil returns with their long-awaited sophomore release, “Selfish Machines.” A lot has happened since the group’s debut, “A Flair for the Dramatic,” but all for the better; they grew both as people and musicians. Composed of contagiously catchy sounds, old and new, and well-written lyrics, the album is a blessing in disguise.

Lead vocalist Vic Fuentes’ voice is something you’ll either love or hate. I, for one, absolutely adore his piercing high octaves. You can hear him pouring his heart out; his screams are especially memorable in the chorus of “The New National Anthem.” The vocals blend perfectly with the album’s fast, upbeat tracks as well as its slow, somber ones. Drummer Mike Fuentes and guitarists Tony Perry and Jaime Preciado make a great combination that’s satisfying to the ear and creates Pierce the Veil’s distinctive sound.

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Besides being a brilliant vocalist, the superb lyrics and thoughtful titles prove that Vic is also an outstanding songwriter. Bonus track “She Makes Dirty Words Sound Pretty” may sound intriguing to some. In addition, lines like “Can we create something beautiful and destroy it?” (from “Disasterology”) and “My love for you was bulletproof but you’re the one who shot me” (from “Bulletproof Love”) are sure to find a way into your head. The meaning behind the words will move you deeply.

What makes “Selfish Machines” such a successful album is its versatility. “Stay Away From My Friends” is emotionally dynamic, while “Caraphernelia” is loud and rough, and Jeremy McKinnon (from A Day to Remember) shrieks “What if I can’t forget you?” in a way that will give you goose bumps. The slow-paced song “Southern Constellations” leads you into the next wild track, “The Boy Who Flew.” Some pieces, like “Besitos” and “I Don’t Care If You’re Contagious” boast addictive choruses that will have you involuntarily singing along.

The last track, “The Sky Under the Sea,” is undeniably one of the best, making up for the preceding weak one. Highlighting all the band’s strong points – fast drum patterns, captivating guitar chords, and Vic’s mesmerizing cry – it has a little bit of everything.

Overall, “Selfish Machines” is an astounding album that lives up to its accolade as one of Alternative Press Magazine’s “Most Anticipated of 2010,” and is bound to draws many listeners who are looking for something new.

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