It's here. It's actually here.
After years of false starts, broken promises and tested patience, Vic, Mike, Jaime and Tony have signed off on their long-awaited fourth album, and what feels like the Warped Tour scene’s ‘Chinese Democracy’ is finally done.
Each and every Pierce The Veil fan is waiting with baited breath to find out what their band have been up to, and Rock Sound was pretty damn intrigued to hear what’s taken so long. And if that’s how we’re feeling, the band must be terrified of what everyone’s going to think about the 11 songs that might break them.
After all – it’s a much softer blow if you release a bad album after two years than if your fans have to wait almost half a decade for a stinker.
The good news? After all that time away, Pierce The Veil still sound very much like Pierce The Veil. And the good news just keeps coming.
‘Misadventures’ represents a rich, more polished version of the Pierce The Veil that broke out on 2012’s ‘Collide With The Sky’. Vic Fuentes leads his troops galloping through the opening tracks without coming up for air.
There are winding, warm guitars and pained, menacing screams on ‘Dive In’ and the furious ‘Texas Is Forever’ has PTV written all over it, while elsewhere the thumping riffs, harmonics and “woah” driven outro of ‘Today I Saw The Whole World’ is an anthem in the making and will seamlessly slot into their live set.
That’s not to say there isn’t anything new on ‘Misadventures’, mind. ‘Bedless’ is a pop-rock opera that needs to be heard to be believed – sweeping between big, pompous flourishes and reflective instrumentals while Vic croons along to one of the finest, most intricate songs they’ve ever written, proving this band still has a flair for the dramatic.
In fact, this album shines brightest when the band do try something new. ‘Circles’ injects more than a hint of pop into proceedings, while ‘Floral & Fading’ sounds like an ’80s ballad has been given the Pierce The Veil treatment (yeah, really), and its sublime.
There is the odd misstep here and there. ‘Gold Medal Ribbon’ is a ballad that meanders without really going anywhere, while ‘Phantom Power And Ludicrous Speed’ is overshadowed by the quality of the songs around it.
The lyrics hit hard at times, and offer a fascinating insight into where Vic’s head has been over the past four years of his life; addressing love on ‘Texas Is Forever’ (“Here we are, crashing once again”) and self-doubt on ‘Sambuka’ (“I think we’re in over our heads”). His words are pained, passionate, and destined to be all over Tumblr within hours of the album’s release.
“I’m not a kid any more, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again,” are Vic’s last words on epic album closer ‘Song For Isabelle’. It’s a poignant way to finish proceedings, and feels like a reminder of the struggle he and his band have been through to make this album possible, as well as an appropriate reminder that sometimes, quality takes time.
This album does ooze quality though and has enough flourishes of originality to keep the quartet moving forward, but perhaps even more importantly for the band, their fans (and us, for that matter), the wait is over.
It’s so good to have you back, boys.
You can read our track-by-track guide to 'Misadventures' here, pre-order the album at the band's website and listen to an album sampler below.
This review originally appeared in issue 213 of Rock Sound magazine, which is available worldwide now.