The Jaws Of Life album cover

Album review: Pierce The Veil’s ‘The Jaws Of Life’

7 mins read

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The Jaws Of Life is Pierce The Veil’s fifth studio album following previous record Misadventures in 2016.

Four years in the making, this record is heavy and powerful in its message and sound. It’s the type of rock music that is both inspiring and soothing to the post-pandemic youth of today.

Its references to heavier topics like suicide in track eight ‘Resilience’, and school shootings in track two ‘Pass The Nirvana’, is the certified authenticity the band never shy from when spotlighting sensitive themes in their music. 

Lead singer, Vic Fuentes, described track six ‘The Jaws Of Life’ as a fighting back mantra:

“It’s about trying to get released from life’s grip and finding your way… It’s trying to be OK with where you are and starting to feel happy again—I’m making my way, and I know that I can see some light.” 

Themes including betrayal and toxic relationships are featured in tracks; ‘Flawless Execution’, ‘So Far So Fake’, and ‘12 Fractures’.  

Vic describes these subjects as “a bit angry, a bit sour, a bit difficult to think about… even as a bystander” — and firmly believes in writing songs reflective of things affecting his life. 

Listeners can find solace in the raw honesty throughout the record. It’s an album that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster.

Lyrically, this album is an incredible example of what Pierce The Veil do best – using graphic imagery to convey emotional sentiments. 

Metaphorical lyricism can be found in the movie-inspired track ‘The Jaws Of Life’:

“Seasonal depression tortures you… I don’t mind ‘cause I like the flavour blue.”

To the angry and sour track about betrayal, ‘So Far So Fake’: 

“I’m cauterising the veins you lacerate… Be still your heart, and do not resuscitate.”

Barely a week after its release, this record has had a mixed reception from newer listeners compared to dedicated fans.  

Last year, the band’s 2012 collab hit ‘King For A Day’ and album Collide With The Sky blew up on TikTok.

That record is filled with anger and emotions fitting their earlier progressive-rock and screamo sound, and this set up new listeners to expect the same from the band’s recent music.

Pierce The Veil
Pierce The Veil. Image Credit: Celina Kenyon

But their sound has changed throughout the eras since day one.

Devoted fans have grown with the band as their sound has matured over the years. There’s an appreciation for this evolution and an understanding for its relevance.

Some felt that The Jaws Of Life, by contrast, is too far from the hardcore intensity of their older music.

With “dreamless in early graves” being a standout line from their song ‘A Match Into Water’ in 2012, Pierce The Veil have garnered a following through a discography filled with depressive analogies and sombre outlooks on life, and it is obvious they wish to move on from this branding.

Track seven, ‘Damn The Man, Save The Empire’ may be hinting at their change in musical direction:  

“Life goes on, and on, and the peace feels nice. Maybe I should find another ride.” 

Including more sentimental-sounding songs on the track list – like their second and third pre-release singles, ‘Emergency Contact’ and ‘Even When I’m Not With You’ — the sweeter love song basis helps to soften the rougher edges of the record’s dark side. 

Husband and recent father Vic Fuentes is at a happier part of adulthood, so the angsty and complex emotions of his twenties were no longer relevant to his songwriting process throughout this album. 

Speaking to Upset Magazine, Vic expressed that this is the record that took us from a darker place into a lighter place.

‘Even When I’m Not With You’ is dedicated to his wife. It’s “a song about devotion and staying connected through love, even over long distances.” 

‘Emergency Contact’ has a similar premise:  

“There’s this funny moment when you get older, and your emergency contact becomes your wife or your partner. God forbid something happens to me; my wife will be the one to help me.” 

The Mexican-American trio have created an expressive record meshing the edgier elements of their sound with a newer softness. It’s a project that seamlessly blends into one cohesive story that emulates their latest era of growth.  

This album is still as electric as ever, it just has less of that bitter anger from their older sound. There’s still a bite to the songs that audibly soothe your ears, and there’s still that constant catchiness injected into each guitar melody.

Pierce The Veil tour 2017
Pierce The Veil performing during their 2017 world tour. Image Credit: Sammy Roenfeldt

Gearing up for a 2024 world tour, the post-hardcore band completed a teaser tour last year with a show at Glasgow’s SGW3.  

Now two dates at the Barrowland Ballroom are scheduled for next April. 

Their 2022 show was a taster for the upcoming tour. The energy Glasgwegians brought to that stand alone gig is anticipated tenfold for Spring 2024. 

Featured Image Credit: Fearless Records

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