‘Trench’ digs into new sound

Twenty One Pilots experiments in new album

Fair use from Fueled by Ramen

Fair use from Fueled by Ramen

David Bryant

With the release of Twenty One Pilots’ fifth studio album “Trench,” the band continues to evolve their sound with a persistent electronic groove.

“Trench” kicks off with the industrial bass-driven track “Jumpsuit.” The quick cuts from heavy bass to light angelic vocals give the track great versatility in sound. As the song progresses, “Jumpsuit” only gets more diverse from a ballad-like song to screaming at full volume, reminding me of previous works by the band like “Ode to Sleep.”

Some of my favorite tracks from the album had a very nice groove between the bass and drums. Songs like “Morph” perfectly executed that feeling. In addition “Morph” offered great introspective lyrics that challenge complicated topics like mental health and self-worth. “My Blood” also captured the essence of a groovy electric vibe through its synth solos and flowy vocals.

With a ukulele leading the backing beat of “Nico and The Niners,” the band brings a nice reference to older fan favorites involving the ukulele such as “House of Gold.” The track brings back a Reggae type aesthetic vocally and in the instrumental.

“Bandito” is a great lowkey track. With the repeating lyrics “I can take the high road, but I know I’m going low,” “Bandito” covers the deeper themes of the album revolving around the protagonist Dema making a large moral decision.   

One interesting point in the theme of the album is the intentional references from one song to another, creating a more cohesive tracklisting. “Morph” references “Nico and the Niners,” and “Nico and the Niners” references “Jumpsuit” through lyrics “my jumpsuit is unsteady.”

Overall, “Trench” did not have any terrible songs, but some were easy to write off in the grand scheme of the album. “Pet Cheetah” was a nice try at a more experimental hip-hop song, but I would not see myself listening to it again as it sounded like a repeat of songs earlier on in the album.

“Trench” is a good progression in sound for Twenty One Pilots, but lyrically feels the same as past works. With every lyric attempting to be deep, the band plays off as corny at times.

“Trench:” ★★★★☆

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