The alternative rock band Twenty One Pilots have just released a new album after a two year hiatus. The new album named ‘Trench’ is the group’s fifth album, following their previous wildly popular ‘Blurryface’ in 2015. The band hadn’t released any new music since the summer of 2016 with the single ‘Heathens’ appearing on the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack.
The band has been around since 2011 but gained major publicity with the song ‘Stressed Out’ which peaked at #2 on the Billboard Top 100. After years of silence, this new album sticks to the band’s trademark of creating songs with deep and meaningful lyrics and now focuses more on how fame has changed their lives.
For clarity, I have been a fan of the band since 2015, which isn’t the longest time, but I have a very deep appreciation for their music. Twenty One Pilots makes themselves known because of the lyrics and creating a deeper message without sounding ingenuine. Even if you are not a fan of the lyrics, the beats they create are appealing to anyone, and they have a wide variety of faster paced and more upbeat songs while also having slow and melancholy sounds as well.
‘Trench’ perfectly encapsulate all the things that make Twenty One Pilots such a special band. The band had to live up to fans expectations following the success of ‘Blurryface’ and the story they created from that album. ‘Trench’ builds upon the character of Blurryface and the world that the band has created, and follows the story of Clancy and the Banditos.
Clancy is a character created by singer Tyler Joseph and is who we follow throughout ‘Trench’. They story tells us that Clancy is trying to break free from Dema, the world that Blurryface is from. There is a group called the Banditos who are free and fight against the enemies from Dema. The story of the Banditos is represented in the music videos for the first three singles ‘Jumpsuit’, ‘Nico and the Niners’, and ‘Levitate’.
I’m personally more drawn to concept albums because they feel more fleshed out and more thought out. ‘Trench’ is one of those albums that contains a large overarching story that continues as you listen to the album as a whole, but also each song stands well on its own.
The highlights that stand out to me start with the single ‘My Blood’. The sound feels like a perfect representation of what ‘Trench’ is all about while also having meaningful lyrics. ‘Chlorine’ is another early stand out because of the different layers that is compiled in the five-minute-long song.
‘Neon Gravestones’ perhaps has the deepest lyrics, addressing the glorification of suicide in the media. This is especially prevalent since Joseph has been very vocal in the past about his own personal demons.
‘The Hype’ is also relevant for the band since it calls out the new found fame the band has garnered over the past couple years.
Lastly, ‘Legend’ is very reflective piece dealing with Joseph’s loss of his grandfather. This song perfectly represents the band: sad subject matter with an upbeat tune to add a level of happiness. This works to not only mourn the passing of a loved one, but to also rejoice for who they were.
‘Trench’ has been highly anticipated by fans for years, and does not disappoint. It’s a new era for the band, and one I look forward to seeing develop. For someone who may never have heard Twenty One Pilots, ‘Trench’ is a perfect album to listen to. If you are a fan of albums with a storyline, or alternative rock mixed with electronic elements then this album is perfect for you.