Review Summary: With a mixture of heavy dynamics and melodic croons, Pierce The Veil has done it again. But this time with a more polished and mature sound.
It's only natural to compare a bands newest album to their old ones. Some aspects may have been executed much more soundly on past albums, or some aspects may have been emphasized on the new album that didn't even exist before or were at least hidden behind the growing process. In Pierce The Veil's case, there is a nice balance of both.
If there is one thing Pierce The Veil does best, it's always being one step ahead of the others in the genre. They always have something different to offer, sometimes for better and sometimes for worse, which always keeps things interesting. On "Collide With The Sky" they offered a much more solid album structure that takes you on a bit of a journey, which is something they seemed to lack on "Selfish Machines" and "A Flair For The Dramatic." It starts with a soft yet suspenseful intro that lays down the ground work for the journey ahead. It then explodes into a bit of a electronic breakdown hybrid of sorts, which definitely brings out the "Mexicore" genre they have coined for themselves. It then jumps right into the fast paced and aggressive, "Hell Above." This song has all of the elements of "Selfish Machines," but seems to be a bit more structured. This is the usual heavy and oh so familiar Pierce The Veil... Until it takes a unexpected turn that will cause your ears to perk up in surprise.
Their single, "Bulls In The Bronx," marks the first turn on the journey. While the first few lyrics of the song were not executed as well as they could have been, it includes all of the heavy and aggressive aspects that irrigate the first part of the album, when suddenly the sound dissipates and a very soft and rhythmic nylon guitar lead taps you on the shoulder. It's unexpected, yet fits so well. It then transforms into a bit more of a melodic-heavy finish which pulls you into a dynamic, ballad-esque "Props & Mayhem." This is where Pierce The Veil's growth really shines through.
On "Collide With The Sky," there is much more melody and dynamic offered than past albums. This is evident in "Tangled In The Great Escape." With Jason Butler from Letlive making an appearance, he adds a perfect touch of movement to the song, but his contribution is only the beginning. There is much more air flowing throughout this song that wasn't always there in the past, which we all know is more often than not lacking in this genre. The album then floats on for a couple more songs with melodies that seal the deal, when their second single sneaks in and marks the beginning of the third part of the album.
Sleeping With Sirens vocalist, Kellin Quinn, makes an appearance on the single, "King For A Day." It's isn't clear as to whether this song would be perfectly fine without him, but that's for the listener to decide. It is a fast paced song that seems to make Kellin force his part through. Maybe his voice just isn't made for Pierce The Veil's tempo, but he does his best.
The album then floats back down with another melodic tune, "Stained Glass Eyes and Colorful Tears," and a satisfying ending, "Hold On Till May." This song has another guest vocalist, Lindsey Stamey of Oh No Fiasco. It's not as big of a part as Jason and Kellin have, but it's the perfect amount of female croon that the song needs. Again, melody smothers the song which is a nice break from the fast paced and heavy shredding Pierce The Veil always has to offer, but this song also has the subtle teenage angst that floats about, mostly through Vic's high pitched vocals.
Pierce The Veil, a "Mexicore" pioneer, and an always improving powerhouse of shredding and high pitched croons that were a bit more controlled and tolerable on this album. Unlike "Selfish Machines" and "A Flair For The Dramatic," "Collide With The Sky" has much more structure and melody. It's obvious this album was a bit more produced, but it's the little production the band needed to let their growth shine through. Like any band there is always room for growth and improvement, and Pierce The Veil seems to be heading in the right direction.
Bulls In The Bronx
Tangled In The Great Escape
I'm Low On Gas and You Need A Jacket
Hold On Till May