Selfish Machines

                After much touring and recording, post-hardcore band Pierce the Veil returns with their long-awaited sophomore release, Selfish Machines. A lot has happened since the group’s debut, A Flair for the Dramatic, but all for the better – they have grown as both people and musicians. Composed of both old and new contagiously catchy sounds and well-written lyrics, the album stays true to its word as bring a blessing in disguise.

                Lead vocalist Vic Fuentes’ voice is something you’ll either love or hate. I for one absolutely adore his piercing high octaves. You can practically hear him pouring his heart out; his occasional screams clearly audible especially in the memorable chorus of the song, “The New National Anthem.” It blends perfectly with both the album’s fast, upbeat tracks as well as its slow, somber ones. Drummer Mike Fuentes and guitarists Tony Perry and Jaime Preciado make the four a great combination, satisfying ot the ear and Pierce the Veil its distinctive self.

                Besides being a brilliant vocalist, the superb lyrics prove that Vic is also an outstanding songwriter. Lines like “Can we create something beautiful and destroy it?” (from “Disasterology”) and “My love for you was bulletproof but you’re the one who shot me” (from “Bulletproof Love”) are sure to find a way into your head.

                What makes Selfish Machines such a successful album is its versatility. “Stay Away From My Friends” is emotionally dynamic, while “Caraphernelia” is loud and rough, with Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember’s shrieks of “What if I can’t forget you?” that will give you goosebumps. Slow paced song “Southern Constellations” suddenly leads you into the next wile track, “The Boy Who Flew.” Some pieces, like “Besitos” and “I Don’t Care If You’re Contagious” boast of addictive choruses that will have you involuntarily singing along. As powerful as most of the album’s tracks are, I felt that “Fast Times at Clairemont High “ was its weakest – a weird mixture of rock, electronic pop, and metal sounds cluttered and awkward.

                The last track, “The Sky Under the Sea” is undeniably one of the best, making up for the weak, preceding one. It highlights all the band’s strong points – fast drum patterns, captivating guitar chords, and Vic’s mesmerizing cry. It’s not surprise the album was named after it. Closing with the piano fading in the background, it’s a perfect way to symbolize the end of a masterpiece.

                Overall, Selfish Machines Is an astounding album that will be stuck on repeat for weeks. It lives up to its name as one of Alternative Press Magazine’s “Most Anticipated of 2010,” being fantastic in lyrical and musical aspects, and without a doubt draw many listeners looking for something new. 

Christina Zhou
Age 15, Grade 10
Hunter College High School
Silver Key

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