By Linh-Chi Nguyen, Courier Music Editor
After successfully releasing their first full-length album, A Flair For the Dramatic, male quartet Pierce the Veil has now managed to produce another, Selfish Machines. Mike Fuentes (drummer), along with his brother Vic Fuentes (singer), Tony Perry (guitarist) and Jaime Preciado (bassist) together create the magnetic and propelling band, Pierce the Veil.
Songs such as “Besitos”, “Fast Times At Claremont High” and “The Boy Who Could Fly” are perfectly satiated with a ridiculous amount of energy. Pierce is Veil, which is made up of predominately Mexican musicians, were not afraid to showcase the influence of their culture throughout the entire album. “Besitos” (which means kisses in Spanish) is mastered with rad guitar lines that are reflective of the band’s Hispanic heritage. Although bassists, to be quite frank, are almost always monotonous, Preciado maintains the unique flavor of each song by not failing to create interchangeable notes.
A song that demonstrates the strengths of Pierce the Veil at full capacity is “Caraphernelia”, a play on words using the name of Vic’s ex-girlfriend Cara and the word paraphernalia, meaning “stuff”. Both the lyrics and vocals by Vic are incredibly impressive; as an example, a line reads “I'll burn my name into your throat/I'll be the fire that will catch you/What's so good about picking up the pieces?” A Day To Remember vocalist Jeremy McKinnon guest screams, positively contributing to the awestrucking elements of the song. Drummer Mike never holds back when it comes to pounding his heart away and the instrumental components on the song from Preciado and Perry are flawless.
The album comes to a refreshing break from the everlasting fast-paced melodies with “Stay Away From My Friends”, a slow yet catchy sing-along that brings Vic’s voice to the limelight. The usage of some piano and the emotional vocals of Fuentes both complement each other beautifully.
“Bulletproof Love”, “Million Dollar Houses” and “The Sky Under The Sea” are other examples that keep the album up tempo until the very end. All three songs have a sassy vibe in between that makes it difficult for any closet-dancer to hold back the constant foot-tapping and head-banging that the songs induce. Vocalist Vic Fuentes's voice is insane and unfamiliar throughout; he carries such an incomparable voice and utilizes it well in each of these songs.
It's difficult to find a downfall in Selfish Machines; not much is needed to perfect the album. Inundated with inductive and entirely impressive songs, Pierce the Veil is unbelievably creative with the infusion of their Hispanic touch to most of the songs, as well as their talents of releasing yet another high-energy and propulsive album. Their recent summer release is complete with the right amount of excitement, slowing the album down with a ballad that almost—but never completely—brings the album to a halt.