Twenty One Pilots -Vessel
Record Label: Fueled by Ramen
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Described as “schizoid pop” (a term I am not ready to accept), Twenty One Pilots – duo, Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun – became a hot buzz word in 2012 when they signed with Fueled by Ramen and then released a three-song teaser EP, aptly titled, “Three Songs.” With their debut full-length album, “Vessel,” the Columbus, Ohio natives are poised to take over the music scene.
The album opens with “Ode to Sleep,” a track that sets the tone and gives the listener a good idea of what to expect for the rest of the album. Starting out with an electro-hip-hop beat, the song unexpectedly slides into a jaunty electro-indie beat as vocalist, Tyler Joseph, transitions easily from rapping to singing, his voice simultaneously reminiscent of indie-rapper, Astronautalis (though, much higher pitched), and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. At first listen, the track felt a bit overwhelming to me, as I had to go back and listen to it a couple of times to get used to the quick transitions.
The next standout track, “House of Gold,” is a simple, sweet acoustic track that gradually builds into a cheerful sing along. From there the album hits its sweet spot with “Car Radio,” which, much like “House of Gold,” begins somewhat calm before finally bursting into a beautiful crescendo of emotion. Next is “Semi-Automatic,” a poppy electronic track that the masses will eat right up.
The back half of the album doesn’t slow down and with tracks like the bouncy “The Run and Go,” the Gameboy-esque “Fake You Out,” and the irresistibly danceable “Guns for Hands,” the fun will surely continue. The album closes with the hushed, piano-laden track, “Truce.” The song stands out as it is not only the shortest track on the album, but it also sounds nothing like what you’ve just spent 45 minutes listening to. Instead, the track showcases Joseph’s vocal prowess and proves that the duo can pretty much do anything they want to musically.
When the buzz began surrounding Twenty One Pilots last year I was cautious to buy into it all. On the recommendation of photographer, Megan Thompson, I gave “Vessel” a try and was pleasantly surprised and delighted by what I heard. Although, it can be said that the frequent style changes can be disarming or off-putting to some, after a few listens I was reeled in by the duo’s ability to smoothly transition from one genre to another. That being said, I can safely say that Twenty One Pilots will be the voice of this growing “ADD Generation” as the duo always seems to keep you on your toes. Get in on the ground floor while you can because I am predicting that big things are on the horizon for this young duo.
Just to touch on how huge these guys have gotten in such a short time. I've followed Twenty One Pilots since it was Tyler and a different drummer and added bassist from their high school. They originally played small shows where there may have been 10 or so people and thats it. Well they scheduled their first big show at The Newport in Columbus in February of 2011 and almost sold out. Scheduled another show at The Newport in October 2011 and sold it out in a few days. Scheduled another show at The Newport in April 2012 and sold out so fast that they moved it to the LC (largest venue in Columbus ~2500 people) where it also sold out and they told fans that they'd been signed.
These dudes went from small to HUGE quick. They are worshiped in Japan and Korea and I have to believe they will become huge here as well.
Besides that, good review. I'm obviously a huge fan and can't wait for some new stuff. If you haven't seen a show, I highly suggest doing so. They will blow you away.
Good review; I wrote one myself that I have yet to post, but I definitely agree with this, though. Astronautalis is a comparison that I'm surprised I haven't thought of, though; I got a very Eyedea and Abilities vibe from this band/record, though. But I first heard of this band in 2011 when they came out with the video for "House of Gold," and that song I was heavily into for awhile but I didn't even know that they had rapping until I listened to "Guns for Hands." I totally forgot about the band, and I'm glad I did, because I love their sound and this whole album. I love it.