Pierce The Veil - Selfish Machines is out 6/22/10 on Equal Vision Records. It is very close to a masterpiece, and I do mean very close. The first thing to discuss is the amazing production that went into this project. There are many sounds and many voices. Mike Green produced this record with a flair and poise that is outstanding to hear and is only matched by the fantastic song crafting. This band and this producer are a match made in heaven; think System Of A Down meets Radiohead… Yeah, that’s what I’m saying.
Instead of breaking down my favorite tracks as I would usually do, I would rather talk about the overall piece. I have heard it described as a schizophrenic attack but I disagree. The music, which is pop laden rock-and-roll, borrows liberally from punk, metal, hip hop and electronic music; yet manages to always find a way to keep it in the band’s own unique wheelhouse.
Vic Fuentes’ vocals are in a high register – as in like Rush type high register – and yet somehow it never gets on my nerves and seems to fit this sound perfectly. Vic’s brother Mike is quite the beast on drums, and Jaime Preciado hangs with him note for note on bass. Tony Perry is a very interesting guitar player: he seems instinctively to know when to float and when to burn; in all cases he is a guitar player’s guitar player, and whole lot of fun to listen to.
I love this record so much that I must nitpick because it is so close to perfect, so here is the one unforgivable sin: “auto-tune” is used noticeably as an effect on one song, and that cannot be forgiven because Vic can sing…so it was just a cheap keeping up with the pop and hip hop crap Joneses.
There – glad I got that out of my system… back to praise land. Every song on the record is great overall and you should BUY IT! Yes, that’s what I want. I wan’t you all to support these young men because they worked so hard to give you something unique and heartfelt and creative and wonderful and amazing. So please don’t download it illegally even though you probably can. These are not rock stars yet, and touring is where you make your money, but it is very grueling work and we should all celebrate this effort and say to the world ” Give us great art; we will pay for it!”
Selfish Machines is album rock start to finish, but if I must (and with a gun to my head) choose a single to give you a taste I would say start with track 4: Caraphernelia. Then you will want to buy the rest. So much of what we hear will be soon forgotten; but this is an important record and I hope you will all spread the word. We need artists like this – not just musicians and songwriters. I have no idea whether they can reproduce any of this live, but hey – The Beatles could not reproduce Sgt. Pepper live either, but that never stopped us from loving it. Man am I glad I never got the advance copy of the new Ozzie record. It let me focus on something much more vital… The future.
4.5 Anarchy Symbols (out of 5)