three songs, the title of twenty | one | pilots’ newly released EP, is pretty self-explanatory. The EP features “Guns For Hands” and “Ode To Sleep,” two songs from their previous album, and a new song called “Migraine,” the keystone third song. twenty | one | pilots have confirmed that their follow-up album, Vessel will have 12 songs on it, but the release date is still being determined.
The men behind this schizoid-popduo are Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun. Hailing from Columbus, OH, they released a self-titled album in 2009. Two years later, twenty | one | pilots came out with another album, Regional at Best, which caught the eye of fans and Fueled By Ramen, who signed the duo in April. twenty | one | pilots breaks the mold of Fueled By Ramen’s typical roster with their piano based electronic rock sound. The label has taken a huge risk adding them to the team, but it is definitely a risk worth taking.
“Guns For Hands” opens with electronic beats, keyboard chords and pounding drums. It’s the type of song that was made for literally every single person breathing on the face of the earth. (Dare I say it is a new personal favorite of mine.) I highly recommend listening to it when pulling a strenuous all-nighter, or what could seem like one during daytime hours cooped up in an office—it will keep the sleepiest person wide-awake with or without a caffeine fix.
Thirty seconds in and “Migraine” breaks out into rap verses. Heavily electronic influenced with a touch of autotune, Joseph and Dun paint a picture in the listener’s head of what it looks like inside of their minds. The chorus steps away from the hip-hop noise as Joseph sings, “Am I the only one I know // Waging my wars behind my face and above throat // Shadows will scream that I’m alone // But I know we’ve made it this far, kid yeah, yeah, yeah.”
The electronic introduction into “Ode To Sleep” sounds like it belongs on the 8 Mile soundtrack, but one minute and twenty seconds later, the track takes a complete turn, with a more uplifting, happy-go-lucky vibe. “Ode To Sleep” constantly flip-flops between the melodic rap tones and the pop ballad, making it more like two separate songs crammed into one. This is an interesting technique, and one that few current bandshave explored, but twenty | one | pilots make it work.
It seems like twenty | one | pilots have this odd fascination with what goes on in the human mind. Through their songs, they explore every day thoughts, mental challeneges and setbacks, and the psyche. They might be out of their minds, but their creative music is out of this world and will be a total game-changer if they play their beats right. Each song throws the listener off in its own way, but leaves them hanging on, desperately wanting to hear more.
*This review was composed by Sydney Gore and edited by Emily Coch