Some things will never change; its new album, “The Jaws Of Life,” features lead singer Vic Fuentes’ voice unchanged, whiny as ever, and a dramatic opening akin to past albums. Almost everything else that makes this band unique has been wiped clean. Maybe they went to therapy, or maybe they’re trying to appeal to a new generation of TikTok rockers.
I understand the band is trying to prove that it can make different kinds of music than its beloved Mexi-core emo rock, but it simply doesn’t cut it. The album is almost completely lacking in fun or emotional guitar riffs, forcing the music to sound plastic. That being said, if this album came out when I was getting into emo music in middle school, I would be incredibly obsessed with it.
Its first three songs, “Death Of An Executioner,” “Pass The Nirvana” and “Even When I’m Not With You,” pander to its newfound TikTok audience with formulaic lyrics and electronic beats. There’s not a lot of emotion behind the songs, creating an uncanny feeling behind the music.
There are not many songs that stand out. Most of the lyrics are devoid of their past toxicity. Instead of singing “So keep in happiness and torture me / While I tell you ‘Let’s go in style,’” they murmur “Things that I want, this happily ever after / You choke on your words, but you swallow them faster.” I’m glad that they are in a better place than the self-harm glorification in their albums “Collide With The Sky” and “Selfish Machines,” but the music lacks that signature emotional punch to the gut.
That doesn’t mean that every song on this album was a complete mess. “Damn The Man, Save The Empire” is the best song, bringing back harder guitar and driving drums. The lyricism is by far the most creative on this track, boasting incredible lines like “Heaven is a place we can’t afford.” It relies on harkening back to their macabre days in the 2010s, providing some kind of solace for long-time fans.
The closing song, “12 Fractures,” is the best way to close out the album. Featuring queer artist Chloe Moriondo, it feels like the most genuine song featured on the album. Moriondo’s verse is, sadly, the shortest and best verse on the album. It reminds me of the beautifully melancholic closer of their 2012 album titled “Hold On Till May.” While nothing will be as perfect as that song, “12 Fractures” will surely be the new audience’s replacement for it.
“The Jaws Of Life” is not for long-time Pierce the Veil fans. If you have never listened to it before, this will be the softest possible plunge into its music. TikTok fans, this one’s for you.