Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

Photo credits: Pierce the Veil Vic Fuentes (CC BY 2.0) by Nicole Rork

As most former emo kids know, Pierce The Veil is one of the pinnacle contemporary rock bands that rocked strictly the emo community. Coming from someone that grew up being made fun of for listening to bands like Pierce The Veil, it is truly shocking to see how much they have gained popularity simply because of a social media platform. Pierce the Veil, commonly referred to as PTV, is an American rock band from San Diego, California that was formed in 2006. With three strong members and a few struggles along the way, the band created four albums and a couple singles that all had a similar feeling.

Recently, however, PTV has released two singles that will be featured in their “The Jaws Of Life” album coming soon. The two songs, “Pass The Nirvana” and “Emergency Contact,” give off similar emotions yet with two completely different styles. While “Pass The Nirvana” has a more angry, loud tone, “Emergency Contact” has a softer, more melancholy feel. Even with these contrasting vibes, PTV’s two newest singles do not disappoint.

“Pass The Nirvana” was initially released on Sept. 1, 2022. This 3 minute, 17 second song begins with a slow guitar and quickly amps itself up with heavy drums. The hardcore instruments beautifully set up the rest of the song to be heavy, powerful and unique to most of PTV’s other works. In the first verse, Vic Fuentes, the lead singer, tells his listeners that “suicide season is upon and high.” This line relays the band’s concern for the hardships the American youth have recently faced, like COVID-19 affecting proms, graduations and overall health. After about a minute of singing, Vic Fuentes turns his anger into screaming, and the song continues with a mixture of singing, screaming, guitar and drums. In the second verse, Fuentes describes the youth’s surroundings as a “gentrified neighborhood of blood soaked homes.” This description reveals the band’s belief that the American youth has gone through too many traumatic events like insurrections, school shootings and more. With this, it makes sense that Fuentes sings in the bridge that he “can’t shine to save [his] life.” Although the lyrics are complex, “Pass The Nirvana” has enough anger embedded in the rhythm that it is known Vic is fed up with something. In an interview recently after the song’s release, Fuentes stated, “The song represents a euphoric detachment from all of that anxiety and stress and about finding some form of peace or nirvana.” Personally, I think the song does a thorough job in doing so. Although “Pass The Nirvana” does not have the original “Pierce The Veil” sound to it, the track is still wonderfully put together. In my scattered brain, “Pass The Nirvana” goes hard not really in a PTV way but still goes hard in a good way.

Contrastingly, “Emergency Contact” was released on Nov. 11, 2022. This 4 minute song begins with an acoustic guitar and later meshes with regular guitar, drums and vocals. From start to finish, the song has a mellow tone; it is certainly a song to relax the nerves. Throughout “Emergency Contact,” Vic Fuentes rests his screaming voice and relies solely on his unique singing voice. Overall, the song is about a boy serenading a girl about the meaning of love in a chaotic world. To set up the scene, the girl is a victim of a broken heart, and the boy is merely looking forward to a relationship with his true love. In the second verse, the boy attempts to have the girl open up: “Therapy is tiring but so is hiding how you feel.” The song continues with a repeated chorus of the boy wishing for his true love to be his “emergency contact.” In other words, the boy yearns for the sensitive girl to be his forever. By the end of the song, it is implied that the two are together; at the bridge, the boy repeats, “You’re my angel, all mine.” This sweet love song is not explicitly about the horrors of the contemporary world; however, it is inferred that today’s world is chaotic. While a softer sound is not entirely normal for “Pierce The Veil,” “Emergency Contact” still sounds more like PTV than “Pass The Nirvana.” This is mainly because, as many PTV fans will tell you, “Emergency Contact” is becoming their new “Hold On Till May.” In other words, the melancholy song is becoming their new, slow emo song to cry to.

Even though “Pierce The Veil” has gained recent popularity, I still understand that contemporary rock music is not for everyone. However, all still can appreciate the time, effort and perfection that “Pierce The Veil” put into both “Pass The Nirvana” and “Emergency Contact.” While fans were initially frightened by the hiatus that the band took a few years back, the release of these two beautiful singles shows that PTV is back in business. With meaningful lyrics, contrasting styles and solid instrumentals, “Pierce The Veil” will prevail throughout music history. So, give them a listen!

“Pierce The Veil,” 2022.


Cassandra Hogeland is a 2nd-year English BSED major ch979247@wcupa.edu

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