After seven long years, Pierce the Veil finally released their fifth studio album, The Jaws of Life. Taking inspiration from ‘90s grunge, New Orleans, and plenty of movies, the band created a record that can arguably become the best in their catalog. Following a new direction sound-wise, PTV are more open to new experiences than ever.
To kick off the album, the band chose the potent track “Death of an Executioner.” Lead singer Vic Fuentes explained that the song “represents social media and people expecting perfection out of you and always waiting for you to make a mistake so they can run you down and destroy you. [The title] describes killing the person who’s trying to kill you.” “Death of an Executioner” was also “the hardest [song] to finish,” according to bassist Jaime Preciado. The track sets the tone for the rest of the album, and it draws the listener’s attention immediately.
Pierce the Veil began working on The Jaws of Life as early as 2018. After the band’s incredible work in Misadventures, fans were eager to listen to what was coming next. Of course, the wait was totally worth it as PTV never disappoints. During the production process, Vic moved to Seattle — where the grunge scene emerged — for a brief period to record parts of the album. He stayed at a 100-year-old house owned by MxPx’s vocalist and bassist Mike Herrera. There, he captured the essence of grunge to a T.
Similarly, the band traveled to New Orleans on Halloween 2021 to explore the city’s sounds. Some of those sounds made it in the album, and “you may catch [them] if you’re listening on headphones,” Vic noted. Keen on exploring new sounds, the band settled in a house with producer Paul Meany — leader of Mutemath and co-producer of twenty one pilots’ Trench and Scaled and Icy —, who pushed them even further to create new melodies.
Fuentes stated that the title The Jaws of Life is “about how life can try and sink its teeth into you and devour you and trying to find your way out of that […] This album represents getting out of that grip and seeing the light again and breaking through.” Taking inspiration from Third Eye Blind — whose very own Brad Hargreaves drums on The Jaws of Life —, Pearl Jam, and Bush, Pierce The Veil opted for simple guitar riffs that convey powerful emotions.
Throughout the record, PTV includes references to movies they love. The title “Damn the Man, Save the Empire” is a quote from Allan Moyle’s Empire Records, the intro in “Resilience” is directly taken from Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, and “Irrational Fears (Interlude)” was inspired by Zach Braff’s Garden State. This creates a visual experience for the audience and takes the album to a new level.
Overall, The Jaws of Life is a reflection of how extraordinary a band Pierce the Veil is. With every release, they work harder than the previous one, and they are not afraid to break new ground. As a result, The Jaws of Life is the best album they’ve put out so far, which speaks volumes since their other four albums are pure gold.
Pierce the Veil will soon embark on a tour across South America, Mexico, and Europe. You can get tickets here. Below, you can watch the music video for “Emergency Contact,” and remember to also stream The Jaws of Life.