Skip to main content

15th February 2023

Pierce The Veil are back! ‘The Jaws Of Life’ Album Review

Pierce The Veil return with ‘The Jaws of Life’, their first album in almost seven years and a new direction from what fans are used to
Pierce The Veil are back! ‘The Jaws Of Life’ Album Review
Photo: The Jaws of Life Official Album Art @ Pierce The Veil

It may only be February, but 2023 is already shaping up to be a big year for the most annoying people you’ll ever meet (emos). Panic! At the Disco are officially done, Fall Out Boy are back, and both Paramore and Pierce The Veil are releasing albums on the same day.

The release of Pierce The Veil’s fifth album The Jaws Of Life has been highly anticipated since the release of the first single (and second track on the album) ‘Pass The Nirvana’ last autumn. I was instantly hooked on this track from first listen, with a grungier sound much more akin to a band like Deftones, and an absence of the typical soaring riffs and breakdowns you expect from Pierce The Veil. It would make sense for some Pierce The Veil fans to feel a little alienated with this release, but it instantly became one of my favourite tracks from the band, and built up a decent amount of hype for the album to follow.

Album opener ‘Death Of An Executioner’ sees the band return to a more post-hardcore sound that fans are used to. There isn’t a big breakdown or riffs as intricate as they’ve done in the past, but the track feels like a well-done, more mature, development of that sound (even including some claps reminiscent of the clapping in ‘Besitos’, one of the bands most popular tracks). Frontman Vic Fuentes’ signature high pitched, slightly whiny, vocals may start to grate throughout the course of the album, but for now it’s a pretty catchy track and as solid of an album opener as any.

My hugely positive thoughts on first single ‘Pass the Nirvana’ unfortunately can’t be echoed with the second and third singles released, ‘Emergency Contact’ and ‘Even When I’m Not With You’ (tracks four and three on the album, respectively). I like Pierce The Veil’s more pop-sounding efforts, particularly ‘Circles’ and ‘Floral And Fading’ from 2016’s Misadventures, but those songs are ridiculously catchy, whilst these two just aren’t. ‘Emergency Contact’ does build well throughout though, whereas ‘Even When I’m Not With You’ feels like it should go somewhere but just never follows through.

These slower, more melodramatic tracks feature in abundance on the album, with ‘Resilience’ probably being the best track vocally, but again feels a little meandering. ‘Damn The Man, Save The Empire’ is probably the best of the more under-stated tracks, whilst ‘Shared Trauma’ is the most forgettable song I’ve heard this year. ‘So Far So Fake’ steps up the tempo slightly, and the riff towards the end is certainly welcome, but this momentum sadly isn’t carried into the final track.

Closing track ‘12 Fractures’ is a collaboration with indie-pop singer Chloe Moriondo, who’s vocals are lovely, but it indicates just how different this PTV album is to their previous efforts, as a collaboration like this would’ve been baulked at in the past. Probably the most understated track of all, and seems more fitting to a beginning, than the end, but I actually do like it, I’d just like it more if there hadn’t already been multiple ballads preceding it.

Unfortunately for this album, its highs come all at once, with the first two tracks undoubtedly being the highlights. I’m not a ballad hater by any means, and I think some rock bands have done ballads very well (Bring Me The Horizon in particular), but having so many together makes the album feel as if it drags a little, and I probably wouldn’t come back to the album as a whole.

I do commend Pierce The Veil for going in a different direction though, and not just rehashing previous work, which is a trap that similar bands have fallen into, as a result of the nostalgia attached to past albums. My overall opinion of this album may not be high, but ‘Pass The Nirvana’ is definitely worth a listen, and is probably one of the best recent examples of ‘radio-friendly’ rock.


Maddy Oxley

Maddy Oxley

Criminology student and gig-goer, never left my emo phase. Contactable on twitter @maddy_oxley

More Coverage

Khruangbin’s LP, A LA SALA: Slight shifts make all the difference

Texan three-piece instrumentalists Khruangbin return with their newest LP, A LA SALA, demonstrating that a band can grow with the most subtle of changes

Declan McKenna live in Manchester: Seamlessly mixing old and new

Touring his third album ‘What Happened to the Beach?’, Declan McKenna created a cohesive and compelling live show out of his new material and impressive back catalogue

Thundercat live in Manchester: Bassist of all time?

The man that changed how hip-hop sounds forever brings improvisational, progressive jazz to roaring crowds in Manchester

Everything Everything live in Manchester: I’m a Mountainhead too

Everything Everything bring their Mountainhead tour to New Century Hall for a triumphant hometown outing