Best of 2016 Playlist

May 17, 2016

Pierce the Veil - "Misadventures" Review

It's finally here! The long awaited 4th album from San Diego natives, Pierce the Veil! We "held on till may", and now can finally sit back and enjoy all that is "Misadventures". 

This is our first track-by-track review. Can't guarantee more reviews like this in the future, but if you enjoyed this format let us know! To buy the album on iTunes click this (link). 

Overall the album ventures into the band's more experimental, emo-pop styles. You get more songs like "I'm Low on Gas...", "Tangled in the Great Escape", "Disasterology" and "Fast Times at...". Which is a shame, since the band's heavier songs have proven to be some of their better ("Hell Above", "Bulls in the Bronx", and "Caraphernalia"). 

The album's production is also lacking a sense of unity. A smattering of tracks are well mixed, balancing each member's part. But the majority put Vic's vocals first. Now while that is acceptable on some songs (you want the vocalist to be center stage for more intimate, personal songs), it is not on others where you'd want to hear more of Tony Perry's fast picking or Jaime's bass lines. Mike also seems to have been given a short stick, as most of his beats are standard emo "hi-hat, snare, hi-hat, snare" lines. There aren't as many fills, or fun verses (i.e. "Besitos", "The Boy Who..." or "Bulls in the Bronx"). 

Track by Track - 
1. Dive In - 7.5 to 8/10
If you were to add "Dive In" to the tracklisting of the band's debut, it would be the strongest song on the album. But on "Misadventures" it's a little out of place.
The song polarizes itself with Fall Out Boy style verses, hard rock tendencies in the bridges and intro, and the heavier pseudo-breakdown. The combination of the varying tempos and sounds, in addition to the song's nearly 5 minute length make ideal for an album ending track, not opening. 

2. Texas Is Forever - 8 (Click the link to read full review of song)
3. The Divine Zero - 7.5 (Click the link to read full review of song)

4. Floral & Fading - 6.5 to 7/10
Like some kind of weird acid trip, that's "Floral & Fading" in a nutshell. The song's intro sounds like it was taken from the 70s. Psychedelic PTV? Hell NO. Granted the lead guitar line is one of the band's better, but the rest is just no. Sounds like PTV are on drugs. There are moments when Vic sounds like he's trying to impersonate Matt Healy of The 1975. In fact, if The 1975 did the song with more electronics and synths instead of the lead guitars, it would be a much better song. Long story short, PTV went for something different, and it didn't work. 

5. Phantom Power And Ludicrous Speed - 8.5/10

SO much better than "Floral & Fading". The song's title may be a mouthful, but everything else is spot on. It mixes the band's more mainstream tendencies with their Mexicore style flawlessly. The one complaint are the weird effects on the song's final chorus. Otherwise this song hits the mark perfectly, and transitions into "Circles" beautifully. This is the standout from the album. 

6. Circles - 8/10 (Click the link to read full review of song)

7. Today I Saw The Whole World - 8/10
The song kicks off with a electronicore riff that is equal parts unexpected and awesome. "Today I..." is essentially a combination of "The Boy Who Could Fly" and "One Hundred Sleepless Nights". It's got the hardcore edge from "The Boy..." during the verses and the breakdown. And then the melodic side on the bridges and chorus. The outro is very Fall Out Boy. The groove to the song's guitar line might recall FOB's "My Song's Know What You Did in the Dark" or "The Phoenix". 

8. Gold Medal Ribbon - 7/10
This is a weaker version of "Tangled in the Great Escape". The track's experimental rock gets muddled down with poor production and effects. It is strongest in the last 30 seconds. Where the instrumentals are center stage. Tony Perry and Vic have both done an excellent job on the lead guitar parts. And if they'd given the guitar melodies some more time to shine, this song might have earned an additional point. 

9. Bedless - 8.5/10
The companion for "Circles", it's emo-pop perfection. That seems to be where the band is strongest on this particular record. When they lessen the screams and breakdowns, and write some of their catchiest tunes. Like "Circles" it certainly isn't anything life changing. That doesn't mean we don't love it any less. The orchestration and electronics during the bridge are very tastefully done. This is an example of production done right. 

10. Sambuka - 7.5 to 8/10
Following "Bedless", this song showcases the other side of emo pop. The upbeat, radio friendly side. Fusion between "A Match into Water" and "Bulletproof Love", with well timed screams. The song is only about 2 and a half minutes long. But in that short period of time you get to experience PTV's heavier side. And when PTV go heavy, they don't hold back. 

11. Song For Isabelle - 7.5 to 8/10
The autotuned vocals and steady drum beat, this track would be right at home on the band's sophomore album, "Selfish Machines". If the airy effects utilized during the song's bridge had been used throughout it might have brought the track to the next level. But the pseudo-breakdown is just as welcomed. The song is the companion piece for "I'm Low on Gas and You Need a Jacket", though "I'm Low..." is the better of the two. 

This is an amalgamation of the band's previous albums that works on varying levels. The album's songwriting and instrumentals have been tarnished by poor production. But despite that, the album is sure to be a fan favorite. Is it the band's best record? No, "Collide with the Sky" still seems to be their strongest album. But this is a close second. 
Recommended for fans of Sleeping with Sirens, newer Our Last Night and Tonight Alive. 

Recommended Tracks

Aside from the singles we recommend "Phantom Power And Ludicrous Speed", "Today I Saw The World", and "Bedless"

Total Average Rating - 7.8