If Hot Topic was a genre, Pierce The Veil would be at the forefront of it. The cult band’s long-awaited fourth album Misadventures is probably just what you’d expect from the group: the most cliché, trivial post-hardcore sound you could imagine.
You’d think after being in the game for a decade, Pierce The Veil would have matured in sound, or at least found a firm standing. But no, they’re still as scene as ever. But maybe that’s just their style, developing the scene... scene. This album won’t be doing it any favors, though. It begins promisingly with the guitar arpeggios of ‘Dive In’, but as soon as Vic Fuentes’ vocals kick in, all hope is lost. While the vocals are pretty bad, I have to give credit where credit is due. My only gripe with the vocals really is his tonality; the melody and harmonies are pretty good here. The instrumentation, too, isn’t half bad, if not a bit overly-flashy. It becomes apparent as soon as the chorus kicks in, though, that this album was horrifically mixed. Yes, the instrumentation might be passable, but the mixing gives it no meat, leaving it feeling empty and lacking of any punch.
After the intro, every redeemable feature just goes down the drain. It is followed up by ‘Texas Is Forever’, possibly the worst love song written this entire year. The title makes no sense, either. Lead single (released almost a year ago, at that, too) ‘The Divine Zero’ is horribly cliché, and is just plain uninteresting. The band seems to not be able to write anything original, as seen by songs like ‘Circles’. It’s all been done and said a million times before, which isn’t a bad thing, but the band does nothing to make their pieces original and separated from the rest. In fact, the album gets off of trying to make themselves sound like heavier versions of better bands; ‘Floral & Fading’ is like a terribly mixed, heavier Weezer song. The album’s just horribly bland... by the time it gets to ‘Today I Saw The Whole World’, the album is worse than boring.
The album, for what it’s worth, starts well and ends well, too. Closing out on the only other redeemable track on the album, ‘Song For Isabelle’, was probably the best thing this album could’ve done. It’s not even that great of a song, but its a fresher after the blandness of the rest of. A sweet love song, that, yes, is cliché, but sweet in the cheesy kind of way. If only Fuentes’ vocals were better and they didn’t try to make is a dark and heavy jammer in the bridge (in which they failed in doing), this song might actually be good enough to give the album a single song to go back to.
I can’t say I’m at all surprised that this album is my least favorite of the year. And honestly, I didn’t expect anything more. I knew going into it that I would be faced with top-brand, Hot Topic-core garbage. It tries so hard to sound sincere and emotionally, but it really just isn’t. Let’s hope by their next album, they find something to cling on to to make their sound tolerable...
Favorite Tracks: Dive In, Song For Isabelle
Least Favorite Tracks: everything else