Jake Insinna Staff Writer
On Oct. 5, 2018, indie-pop duo Twenty One Pilots released their fifth studio album titled “Trench.” The album is their first since they went on three year long hiatus after the release of “Blurryface” in 2015. “Trench” consists of fourteen songs. The sound is broad and there are a wide range of genre-bending tracks throughout. The album also takes from the older sounds of 2013’s “Vessel”, some expansion on their sound from “Blurryface”, and some entirely new and unheard sounds altogether. The album also has somewhat of an interesting narrative throughout.
The album hits on a wide range of sounds. Twenty One Pilots is known for mixing the likes of reggae, rap, pop, and rock; “Trench” is no exception. Songs like “Nico And The Niners” and “Cut My Lip” are an impressive reggae fusion similar to “Ride” from their last release. “Levitate” and “Morph” are very hip-hop centric, “Smithereens,” “Neon Gravestones,” and “The Hype” are pure pop, while “My Blood” is very disco influenced. However, they mix things up on the tracks “Jumpsuit” and “Leave The City.”
“Jumpsuit” is the most aggressive song we have heard from them to date with a huge distorted bass right at the front of the production during most of the song and some screaming lyrics by leading vocalist, Tyler Joseph, at the end. “Leave The City” is the last track on the album and brings back vibes of songs like “Screen” from their 2013 label debut “Vessel.”
The American duo is building a world with this album. “Trench” follows a narrative that further expands on the hints from “Blurryface” and the strange coded messages they left during the hiatus on their website (twentyonepilots.com). The story follows a character named Clancy that lives in a fictional city named Dema. The city is run by Nico and The Niners, and Nico was formerly known as Blurryface. The city is oppressive and bleak while Clancy and a group of rebels are rising up. The tale seems to be a metaphor or parable for mental illness and a way for Tyler Joseph to talk about these issues without being too blunt. It allows for some creative freedoms in the imagery he uses in his lyrics.
Overall, “Trench” is an interesting album and has something for almost anybody. After they blew up on the radio in 2016, Twenty One Pilots went silent. Now, with the release of this album it would be wise to keep an ear out for them on the radio.