Twenty One Pilots Trench
It’s going to be hard for Twenty One Pilots to top the success of their last album. Every tune on
Blurryface went gold, platinum or, in some cases, multiplatinum — the first album to do so in history. But if anyone’s going to do better,
it’s these two guys from Ohio.
Trench, the 14-track, fifth album from vocalist Tyler Joseph and drummer Josh Dun (as well as songwriting help from Paul Meany), is every bit as good as
Blurryface, continuing the band’s genre-bending trademark of tackling various styles and showcasing a knack for songwriting.
The band comes fast out of the gate with the throbbing bass line of Jumpsuit with insecurity in the lyric. Then it’s on to Dun’s kinetic drumming on Levitate, a blissedout and terrific Morph and The Killers-like, falsetto-fuelled My
Blood. Further ahead, there’s the reggae-tinged Nico and the Niners, the 80s-sounding The Hype and the complex, constantly shifting Bandito.
We reach peak Twenty One Pilots on Pet Cheetah, an exhilarating and daffy tune that namechecks Jason Statham as it mixes techno, rap and rock, along with a healthy dose of reggae and house. No one out there makes music as thrilling as this. Trench is a more low-key
album — Cut My Lip and Neon Gravestones are slow burners — and Joseph and Dun show maturity in not overworking songs, too. The last track, Leave the
City, is a piano-driven gem with understated drumming and ghostly vocals.
Trench also finds Joseph in a confident mood, lyric-wise, even mocking songwriting itself. On
Smithereens, he croons: “For you, I’d go write a slick song just to show you the world.”
Well, he’s certainly done that. He’s made another album full of them.