How PVRIS Went From Screamo Nightmare to Alt Rock Dream In A Year
    • MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2017

    • Posted by: Larisha Paul

    Pretty much everyone I know can tell you that one thing I've always despised is any music where someone is blatantly screaming. I don't mean any offense to any creators or fans of screamo rock, but here's the thing: I'm very sensitive. When I was younger, I picked up something in the store and my older sister yelled at me to put it down, or I perceived it as her yelling when in reality she just raised her voice slightly and I saw it as an attack on my entire life. Anyway, long story short I put whatever the item was down and immediately started crying–not because I wanted what I was looking at, but because of the slight hint of anger in my sister's voice. So, as you can probably understand, screamo music was not made for people like me. I know the artists aren't directing their screams at me, I'm not in trouble for doing anything; but still, I feel like I'm being targeted whenever I hear anything in that genre.

    Some part of me feels as though I'm really missing out on some great music because of my inability to tolerate the yelling, but more than anything I feel like the artists are missing out on being able to connect with listeners by not making their music widely accessible. Even if you enjoy metalcore, screamo music, how much of that can you stand to listen to before you've just given yourself a headache and stopped understanding what they're even saying within their screams? Luckily for listeners and bands alike, some acts manage to pull themselves out of the hole that metalcore puts them in. Take Operation Guillotine for example–do you know who that is? What about PVRIS? I bet that second one rang a bell, didn't it? Well, fun fact for you–PVRIS was Operation Guillotine.

    The then 5 piece band was short lived under that pseudonym, but for the time that they were Operation Guillotine they went around performing metalcore tracks that they created together. These performances consisted of Kyle Anthony screaming lyrics over Alex Babinski's guitar, Brian Macdonald's bass, and Brad Griffin's drums while Lynn Gunn tried to fit her vocals into the performance as well. I know, it was every bit as messy as it sounds. To be fair, they were just getting started and didn't quite know what they were doing yet–Lynn Gunn was only 16 years old at the time. As it is said, time heals all wounds, or in this case all subpar bands going nowhere fast. In 2013, Operation Guillotine rebranded themselves as Paris, and then again as PVRIS to avoid a lawsuit, as you obviously would if you're not fond of being sued.

    Alongside the renaming of the band came the departure of two of its members, Kyle Anthony and Brad Griffin. Although it may have seemed unfortunate at the time, Kyle and Brad opened up a world of opportunity for Lynn, Alex, and Brian by taking the screamo, metalcore sound with them in their exit. When the remaining members of PVRIS stepped into the studio to begin working on their debut album, they were able to create freely without the restraint of the screams. In June of 2014, PVRIS released the first single from their debut album White Noise, "St. Patrick." Anyone who had been following PVRIS for a while at this time was most definitely taken aback by their new sound. The track was the perfect combination of alternative rock and electro pop that served up angsty vibes without the "I spend $300 a month on band shirts and rubber bracelets from Hot Topic" atmosphere.

    By the time of the release of "St. Patrick," PVRIS had already been getting their music out to the world by playing shows all around, including a number of Vans Warped Tour sets. In a way, the band seemed out of place alongside all of the others on the roster. They had brought more pop and electronic elements into their music, which logically lessened any hardcore rock effect that the tracks could have had. This stood out when it was realized that PVRIS is classified as a similar act to bands like You Me at Six and Sleeping With Sirens. Of course PVRIS wasn't the first rock band to introduce pop and electronic elements into their music, so that couldn't have explained why they seemed so out of place. The reasoning behind this reveals itself whenever PVRIS steps on stage and Lynn Gunn opens her mouth. One thing that definitely isn't common in the world of rock bands is female leads, let alone a band with a female lead as vocally gifted as Lynn is.

    Being honest, a video of an artist performing on a hot stage while out of breath and sweating may not be the best thing to look to for confirmation of talent, but an album is a better indicator. PVRIS released their debut album White Noise in November of 2014, and followed it up with a deluxe re-release in 2016. From this album came hardcore bangers like "Fire" and "Holy," as well as a stripped back an enticing stripped back version of their hit "You and I." The album charted on multiple Billboard top 20 charts, including a peak position at No. 6 on the US Billboard Alternative Albums chart. The success of their album came along with some incredible opportunities including the chance to tour with prominent rock bands such as Fall Out Boy, Pierce the Veil, and Bring Me the Horizon. All of that occurred within a year of their album being out, and the re-release in 2016 brought along with it the announcement of PVRIS' first headlining tour and a stage set at Chicago's iconic Lollapalooza.

    In terms of new music, PVRIS had been pretty silent for quite a while, apart from the few tracks added to the deluxe version of White Noise. Fans were enjoying getting to experience PVRIS bringing their art to life on stage during the tour, but those who couldn't make it to a show were hoping and praying for some new studio tracks sooner than later. Luckily, the band made the decision to take 2017 by storm and have been dropping track after track ever since. "Heaven" was released in April earlier this year and was later named as the lead single from PVRIS' upcoming sophomore album All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell, which was released on August 25th.

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