Trench Review | Teen Ink

Trench Review

May 17, 2019
By adrixhna BRONZE, Williamsport, Ohio
adrixhna BRONZE, Williamsport, Ohio
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Trench, an album released by the popular alternative band twenty one pilots, was released on October 8th, 2018. Of twenty one pilots' four fully developed released albums, (which includes Self Titled, Vessel, Blurryface and Trench), Trench is definitely the most elaborate, in-depth album. The Trench album itself is one that tells a story, mostly coming from the mind of Tyler Joseph, the band's lead singer, and Joshua Dun who is the band's drummer. Getting right to the point of what story the album really tells, it's an album of songs in which take you through a story of personal struggles, and the meanings behind different things. One of the biggest parts of this album is that Trench is a fictional world that holds a fictional city in it called Dema, which resonates strongly with the album. Dema is essentially a place that Tyler put together to explain the kind of place for himself and others to go when they need to escape, or when they are struggling mentally. Each song has its own meaning and overall they come together to tell this amazing story of a world people can only go to mentally, and the way the album is put together allows the listener to imagine the world in their own way and interpret the songs in their own ways. There are fourteen songs on the album, and each of them has their own interpretations starting with the first song on the album, Jumpsuit. This song is the intro to the album, and in the song, Tyler talks about being covered by a jumpsuit. In the music video, it shows him in the bottom of a rocky ravine singing alone, while up above on the ledges of the drop-offs there are hundreds of people - including Josh and Jenna, his best friend and wife- throwing yellow flower petals over the ledges to fall down and land on him. He is confronted by a man with an all white face and a red cloak riding a pure white horse. The man's name is Nicolas Bourbaki or better known in the album as "Nico". Although it is never specifically clarified who he was, fans have theorized that he is one of the nine bishops. These bishops are known to be nine people who live in the city of Dema that do not want the people like Tyler who go there to ever escape the city. These people, the bishops, are known to be scared of the color yellow which is why all the people on top of the ravine were throwing down yellow flower petals, they were just trying to protect Tyler. The next song on the album is called Levitate. This song doesn't have a very clear message, but it's theorized to be talking about learning to do things you love, or in Tyler's case, him learning how to write poetry when he was young which soon turned into him writing song lyrics and being able to express himself in that way. One lyric in the song is, "you can learn to levitate with just a little help", which is interpreted by most people as Tyler kind of saying like, "hey, if you try to you can find something important to you that helps you through stuff just like I did." The next song on the album is called Morph. This song is one of the most well-crafted songs on the album. Right off the bat the first lyrics are, "can't stop thinking about it and when I'd die for now I see that "if" and "when" are truly different cries, for "if" is purely panic, and "when" is solemn sorrow, and one invades today while the other spies tomorrow." These lyrics talk about thinking of "if" and "when" we die, which many people think about a lot. Thinking about "if" we die can cause panic, as written in the song, while thinking of "when" we die can cause sorrow because we as humans know it is inevitable. The chorus of this song is "if I keep moving they won't know, I'll morph to someone else, what they throw at me is too slow, I'll morph to someone else, I'm just a ghost, I'll morph to someone else, a defense mechanism mode." Some people get confused when trying to understand this song lyrically, but other people may interpret it as they don't really know what they think about what will happen after death or when it comes, so they will just keep avoiding the thought or question in theory by "morphing" to other people, or just avoiding it until they finally have to confront it. The fourth song on the album is called My Blood, which is quite literally just about family and how they will always have your back, and vice versa. In Tyler's childhood, he had two cousins, one being a shy football player and the other being more of a trouble maker, a kid who liked to get under others skin. At one point in time, the younger trouble maker had played a prank on some of the football players, which ended with them showing up to his house. They wanted to fight him, but he was a lot smaller than them and obviously would have lost. The boys older brother, the shy football player, knew that at that moment he needed to protect his family, and he ran outside with a baseball bat and ran off the football players. The music video for this song shows these events and how the shy older brother was brought out of his shell when his family -his brother- needed to be protected and show that family will do whatever it takes to stick up for each other. The fifth song on this album is called Chlorine, which essentially boils down to the band talking about how they love making new music for the fans, but sometimes it can be toxic for them. One lyric from the bridge of this song is, "I despise you sometimes, I love to hate the fight, and you in my life is like sipping on straight chlorine." Sometimes continually making music for the group of people that listen to their music can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining for them, but they continue to do it out of love. The sixth song on this album is called Smithereens, which is a song Tyler wrote for his wife Jenna. This song is sort of a "love" song but it's not really the stereotypical kind of love song. This song is just Tyler talking about how he will protect his wife, and how he wants to show her off with one of the lyrics in the chorus is, "but if I'm feeling someone stepping towards you, can't describe just what I'm feeling, for you I'd go step to a dude much bigger than me, for you I know I would get messed up weigh 153, for you I would get beat to smithereens." The seventh song on the album is called Neon Gravestones, which is probably the darkest song of the album, talking about mental illness and suicide. This song is meant to be something for people to listen to and be submitted to serious thinking of the topic, and for others, this song gives them hope. One of the strongest lyrics in this song is, "promise me this, if I lose to myself, you won't mourn a day, and you'll move on to someone else." It's said in a way that lets the listener interpret it however they want or need to, but it's also a message from Tyler himself to all listening that if he were to ever lose to himself, he needs them to promise they can move on. The eighth song on this album is a song called The Hype. This song is one of the more "happy" songs, with a more upbeat sound. Like all of the songs on the Trench album, this song can be taken in different ways but the most popular view is that it talks about having your own people on your side, who you know will be with you through everything. The song also talks about getting stronger, with the lyrics, "it might take some friends and a warmer shirt, but you don't get thick skin without getting burnt." The song talks about getting lost, and how you may have to get hurt to get stronger but you'll have your own people on your side through it. The next song on this album is called Nico and the Niners. This song is boiled down to being about another one of the fictional characters in the Trench world named Clancy. In the story, Clancy is a character that is trying to get out of Dema but really struggles in doing so. The tenth song on the album is called Cut My Lip. This song is Tyler talking about doing things that he knows are dangerous because he either loves the thing he's doing or has to do it, hence the lyrics, "rust around the rim, drink it anyway, I cut my lip." Listeners of this song can take this song and put in their own meaning however they want to, whether they relate to it by having something personal in their life that they do even they know it's bad, or having to do something for themselves or others even though it causes them pain. The next song on this album is called Bandito. The whole meaning of this song is specifically for the people who listen to twenty one pilots, the fans. In this fandom, the fans are considered "banditos". This song talks about people knowing that they could take a high road, but they know that they're going low because they're a bandito. Tyler talks about being in "City", or Dema, and about being a bandito and being in the city. One of the most audibly pleasing, and for some people lyrically pleasing, parts of the song is the bridge in which Tyler repeatedly says the words "Sahlo Folina" over and over. Going deeper into the lyrics of this part of the song, he sings, "I created this world to feel some control, destroy it if I want, so I sing Sahlo Folina." In this, he is stated that he himself created the whole world of Trench and Dema, and he knows he could destroy it all completely if he wanted to or if it got out of control. Sahlo Folina is a phrase that only banditos use, and it's used when talking to others like themselves when they are seeking help with their struggles, and realistically this can mean people seeing professional help when they are being overwhelmed with their mental illness. This is one of the most powerful songs on the album. The eleventh song on the album is called Pet Cheetah, which is most commonly taken as just a song that is meant to enjoy listening to while still having a meaning behind it. The use of the phrase pet cheetah is not meant literally in this song, but it's more about how Tyler goes about writing his songs and how important his songs are to him, while also expressing some of the challenges he faces when writing them. The next song on the Trench album is called Legend. This song is the most important song on the album for Tyler, as he has stated in interviews. Tyler was in the midst of writing this song when his grandfather was really sick, assumed to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's. When he first started writing the song his grandfather was not nearly as far along with the illness, but it quickly progressed and by the time Tyler had finished the song his grandfather had passed away. One lyric in the song is, "I wish she knew you", which is implying his wife, Jenna. When Tyler and Jenna first met, his grandfather had already been diagnosed with his illness, which caused him to never really get to know Jenna or remember things about her. The last line of the song is, "then the day that it happened, I recorded this last bit, I look forward to having lunch with you again", which is obviously Tyler saying he looks forward to seeing his grandfather again, implying in heaven. The last song on this album is called Leave the City. This is sort of the "closing" to the album, even though it also leaves an open ending. In interviews Tyler has stated before that for him this song is definitely partly about losing faith, but also still talking about leaving the "city" or Dema. One of the lyrics in this song is, "they know that's it's almost over" and, "in time, I will leave the city, for now, I will stay alive." Tyler is talking about how he will keep fighting to keep his complete faith, and he will make it out of Dema even if it takes time. Overall the Trench album is a very complex album that you could get lost in for hours learning about. There are so many deep meaning behinds certain songs, and every song really makes you think about life or whatever is involved in the song you are listening to. There's never just one interpretation of each song, and it's always up to the listener to turn the music into something they connect with and understand personally.



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