trench

Latest Twenty-One Pilots album shows band’s growth as artists

Oct 24 • Arts & Leisure, Top Stories • 546

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Ah, the infamous Columbus, Ohio, natives Tyler Joseph (vocals) and Josh Dun (drums/electronics) are back with their fourth record “Trench” and it is the best record the duo has produced …period.
However, let’s throw it back a few years, to 2009 with Twenty-One Pilots’ self-titled record: a decent first record for a group of friends from Columbus.
Sadly, its direction and constructive flow didn’t quite sit well with me as it did with other listeners.
Then came an obscure release that only hardcore fans remember, 2011’s “Regional At Best” and to be honest I didn’t even know this existed so I don’t have anything to say about it.
The big mark for the band was 2012’s “Vessel” and more so 2015’s “Blurryface” ­— two record’s that took the world by storm and labeled Tyler and Josh as the best alternative artists of the 2010s.
The band was seamlessly appearing everywhere, and I don’t understand why.
Both records were generic, over-produced and uninspiring alternative hip-hop fused with alternative rock, industrial and reggae elements.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some fun and energetic singles off the projects like “House of Gold,” “Car Radio,” “Stressed Out” and “Ride,” but as a cohesive record there were too many cracks and their fame was and still is a tad over-hyped.
But, now we have “Trench” and it’s the darkest, most vulnerable, most organic and most versatile the duo has ever been.
Tracks like “Jumpsuit,” “Levitate,” “Chlorine,” “Neo Gravestones,” “Nico and the Niners,” “Bandito,” “Pet Cheetah” and “Legend” show Tyler at peak performance and Josh at indescribable levels.
Tyler attacks you with introspective lyrics about suicide, politics, creativity, homesickness and loss. He also produces the most creative and intricate flows and persuasive harmonies and choruses period.
Josh follows suit with some banging, fast and dense drums and electronic work that I have heard this year.
For example, the singles “Levitate” and “Pet Cheetah” produce a very haunting, atmospheric and industrial beat that sticks with you.
While, Tyler produces the hardest and most intense lyrics he has ever written.
I haven’t heard a single this year from any genre that has moved me so emotionally than these two singles and as listed above these aren’t the only two singles that do it.
However, this record isn’t as perfect as I wish it could be.
There is still a glaring problem with the whole project that has followed them since their inception in 2009.
They hit the experimental button on the album; however, not every song is this way and some tracks see the duo being stuck in the same Twenty-One Pilots rut.
For example: “Smithereens,” “The Hype,” “Cut My Lip” and “Leave the City” all carry this weight that they need to drop.
The band has grown so much in this record and it shows, but they need to go full speed ahead with this mature sound and they will achieve a perfect record.
They have the capability to do it; they can’t be scared about losing fans or losing themselves.
Happy Listening, Gannon University!
ALLAN COLLINS
collins049@knights.gannon.edu

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