Equal Vision Records has championed hardcore since the late '90s
and as the label enters 2011 it shows an unwavering will to keep
hardcore thriving. The company's release of San Diego-based Pierce
The Veil's new album Selfish Machines has meaty guitar
flusters synonymous with As I Lay Dying and revving drum
thrusts reflective of Mudvayne. The album has ramparts
of classic hardcore with the screamo pitched vocals of frontman
Vic Fuentes and the grinding shreds of guitarist Tony
Perry, along with modern rock licks and the fierce rhythmic
throbbing of bassist Jaime Preciado and drummer Mike
Fuentes. Produced by Mike Green, Selfish Machines
is supremely hardcore with inflections of classical piano and
Tracks like "Besitos" and "The New National Anthem"
kick up a dark and brooding ethos as rapturous guitar licks entwine
and bolt at a symphonic pitch. The sprinkling of dancing chimes
showered lightly across "Besitos" give the song a wider
dimension. These added accents broaden the texture of the melodies
and it is something which Pierce The Veil do periodically throughout
the album, like chiseling "Stay Away From My Friends"
with elements of classical piano and gentle tambourine shimmies,
and the delicate tides of "Million Dollar Houses (The Painter)".
The underlying doowop groove of "Bulletproof Love" gives
the song a dance vibe which contrasts the chomping vocals of "Caraphernelia",
which is grazed by razor-sharp guitar shreds and haunting echoes
in the underbelly of the chordal movements. The racing drum kicks
along "Fast Times At Clairemont High" are bruising and
coated in a maelstrom of searing guitar lesions as Vic Fuentes
tells, "I've been saving myself for you, I've waited my whole
life for you."
The lyrics have a dark romantic hue like in "Southern
Constellations" with words that vow, "Before I get
you home, you're nearly freeze / But I'll never let you freeze
without me." Sometimes the lyrics profess a need to inflict
more cynicism like in "Besitos" with words that resonate,
"You know the only real way to cure pain is to add a little
more." This theme continues in "Caraphernelia"
as Vic Fuentes describes, "What's so good about picking
up the pieces / None of the colors ever light up anymore in
this hole." The lyrics bind the songs in dark feelings
and the music emphasizes its bite.
Pierce The Veil keep in the vane of what audiences expect from
hardcore bands and add in other textures very lightly like the
brushed guitar strokes of "Stay Away From My Friends"
and the doowop-tinged swells of "Bulletproof Love."
The band adds something of their own to hardcore's palette which
will affect burgeoning generations of hardcore audiences.
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