Pierce The Veil’s The Jaws Of Life grips the listener with hardcore yet meaningful performances

Photo by: Charlie Martin

Rating 4/5

For those curious about whether Pierce The Veil’s extensive hiatus may have led to a loss of hardcore edge, and by extension, their hold on the alternative scene, their latest album, The Jaws of Life will push any listener to think the opposite is true.

After a seven-year break from releasing a full studio record, Pierce The Veil returned to the forefront of the music scene with the release of their ‘90s-inspired record, The Jaws of Life, on Feb.10. As for collaborators on the making of the album, it employs the talent of artists such as Brad Hargreaves from Third Eye Blind for drums, as well as vocals from indie-pop singer, Chloe Moriondo, to craft a hardcore-rock sound with sprinkles of pop in between.

The Jaws of Life is composed of 12 tracks, including singles released over the last year, such as “Pass The Nirvana,” “Even When I’m Not With You” and “Emergency Contact.” Although it is a moderate record in length, clocking in at 41 minutes, no song in the tracklist is out of place; rather, The Jaws is a cohesive listening experience.

Something distinguishable about Pierce The Veil’s artistry is the manner in which the band can tie a deeper meaning into their fun yet dark-sounding music. In an interview with Rock sound, the meaning behind the title The Jaws of Life was described by Pierce The Veil vocalist Vic Fuentes as:

“In short, it’s just about how life can try and sink its teeth into you and devour you, and trying to find your way out of that, and I think this album represents like you know, getting out of that grip and seeing the light again and breaking through.”

The deeply meaningful themes that encompass the significance of the record range from trying to collectively recover from the trauma of the pandemic in songs such as “Pass The Nirvana” to stories of divorce and heartbreak in tracks such as “12 Fractures.”

As for the songs that no one should go on without listening to, due to them being the strongest suit in the album, these include tracks such as “Death Of An Executioner,” “The Jaws of Life,” “12 Fractures” and “Flawless Execution.”

“The Jaws Of Life” is perhaps the most catchy yet authentically loyal to Pierce The Veil’s 90s-inspired hardcore-punk sound. The song manages to appease new and old fans alike by maintaining the blunt sound the band is known for while managing to innovate within the genre. With this song being the title track, the overarching meaning given to the album is reflected directly in the lyrics of the song, making it easier for listeners to have a solid glimpse at the themes of the whole album in the span of three minutes.

Another song that deserves praise due to its uniqueness and mellowness is the closing track, “12 Fractures.” The song begins with a sci-fi-esque synth sound and transitions to the sound of Vic Fuentes’ voice, accompanied by a soft guitar riff in the background. As the song continues, Chloe Moriondo’s vocals shine along Fuentes’ as the track’s tempo picks up. Although true hardcore fans may find the song too slow, the heartbreaking divorce story described throughout the song and the stunning vocal performances make for a great, yet depressing, closing track for the album.

Overall, The Jaws Of Life solidly maintains the spirit of Pierce The Veil while fearlessly diverting into new directions, and for that, the band must be applauded. 

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