“The Jaws Of Life” – Pierce The Veil Album Review
Written by wmscweb on February 22, 2023
By Emily McCormack
Pierce the Veil released their fifth studio album The Jaws of Life on February 10, 2023. This is the first album since their 2016 release of Misadvadventures, their last album before the departure of drummer Mike Fuentes. Since losing a band member, fans anxiously waited for seven years for the band to release new tunes. They delivered in November 2022 with their first single “Pass the Nirvana,” which quickly made its way on alternative rock radio airwaves.
This highly anticipated album has received some mixed reviews thus far, as expected for such a well-known band part of the modern emo scene. College-age students have been experiencing their “Middle School Era 2.0” in 2022 and early 2023 with bands such as Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, All Time Low, Paramore, and now Pierce the Veil releasing new tunes. Some are hits, some are misses- but I am here to tell you that The Jaws of Life is certainly a hit.
The album opener is a song called “Death of an Executioner.” Though the band released three singles prior to the album release, the first impression really makes an impact… and this track really did hook me from the start. The first 20 or so seconds are suspenseful built up to the start of the song. The iconic vocals of Vic Fuentes come in after some powerful instrumentals, and if you’re also a long time PTV listener, even just the sound of his voice should bring a smile to your face. This song is the one I have found myself playing on repeat the most since the album release- It gives off the vibes of their song “One Hundred Sleepless Nights” from their 2012 album Collide With The Sky.
The following three tracks are the singles released prior to the album: “Pass The Nirvana,” “Even When I’m Not With You,” and “Emergency Contact.” I find it interesting that PTV isn’t the only band who seems to group their singles together, and early on in the album. Paramore’s latest album This Is Why (also released on February 10, 2023!) did a similar thing, with three of the first four tracks on the album being singles. I feel like this almost makes an album easier to start for those of us who take sitting down and listening to a new album a little too seriously… I like to really pay attention to new songs and sometimes find myself putting albums on hold because it’s a “time commitment.” In the end I recognize this is strange… yet I still find myself taking part in serious-over-thinking-music-consumption. This being said, being hit with a new tune followed by a few I recognize from months past is a great way to ease oneself into a large amount of new stuff.
The title track is smack in the middle of the album at track 6. I really paid attention to the lyrics of this song, as it really does encapsulate the backstory of the whole project and the meaning of the phrase “The Jaws of Life.” The chorus is as follows: “Maybe it’s enough to get by for now but / I’m having the time of my life / Rotting in the sun, we’re inside / The jaws of life.” It tells the story of the irony between trying to live life to the fullest, while also just kind of surviving day to day.
Another notable track is “Resiliance.” (Track 8) I first heard this song in the backseat of my friend’s car, and although I could barely hear the song in full I was immediately drawn to the guitar at the start of the song. This comes in multiple times throughout the song, and there is something about it that I simply cannot get enough of. This is one of the more calm, chill tracks of the album, though it picks up for a little bit at the two minute mark. I find myself nodding my head to this song a little bit and keep coming back to it. In the last minute or so, there is a more “heavy” version of the guitar part I noted in the beginning, and I love this sort of progression in a song.
The beat of “Shared Trauma” (Track 10) is interesting because it isn’t something I would usually predict for a PTV song. This is a song I would put in the category of songs that make me feel like I’m levitating, or ones that would be perfect to lay in a pool floatie and go where the water takes me… and so in a weird way, I actually compared this song to the feel of recent Glass Animals tracks. I never thought I would compare the two, but there is something about the three minute mark that draws the connection.
Some other notable tracks include “Damn The Man, Save The Empire” and “So Far So Fake.”
Interestingly, this only leaves the final track, “12 Fractures” as the only one I have left out aside from the album’s interlude, “Irrational Fears.” Though I certainly do not dislike this one, the other songs stand out much more than this one… the vocals are great, but it definitely didn’t make for a closing as powerful as the opening.
I suppose in the end, as with any other band, if you’re looking for a recreation of Pierce the Veil’s earliest work you may be a tad bit disappointed… but if you’re a willing music enthusiast, this album is one that your ears will thank you for giving it a listen!
Featured image from Amazon