Twenty One Pilots: “I’ve been thinking too much. Help. Me.”
Me: “1) I would bet my whole life that there is no way you have been thinking too much, and 2) I wouldn’t help you if we were the last two people on Earth and you were injured and if I didn’t save you I would be completely alone until I died many years later.”
I’ve never had more difficulty writing something in my entire life. For this article I did the thing I like the least. I did the worst thing on Earth. I did something that I wouldn’t subject my actual worst enemy to.
I listened to Twenty One Pilots.
GGGAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH KILL ME PLEASE KILL ME NOW KILLLLLL MEEEEEEEE
Listen up young people. I’m a live and let live kind of guy. I swear I am. But some things in this world are so vile, so vapid, so tremendously stupid and awful that you have to stand against them. I’m talking genocide. I’m talking human-trafficking. I’m talking Caillou. I’m talking kids starving to death. I’m talking racism.
But most of all I’m talking Twenty One Pilots.
I would like to get one thing out of the way immediately: Why does the drummer guy (if you think, for one second, I’m going to look up the names of these colossal dingbats you are completely insane) insist on acting like he’s actually doing anything in these songs? There is no real drumming in these songs. It’s all drum machines and computers. Or, maybe it was real drumming at one point but it’s so distorted and covered in dog shit that it makes no difference. WHO DOES HE THINK HE’S FOOLING. What a goddamn joke.
I am aware of three of their songs. Two from their latest album – you can imagine my shock when I looked them up and saw that they have four total albums; how could we let this happen? – and that one from Suicide Squad. That’s the extent of my exposure. (Oh my god, “Lane Boy” just came on accidentally on Youtube while I was listening to these three songs and, holy shit, it’s worse than the rest.)
All together, I’ve probably heard all three songs all the way through once or twice. There are a few reasons for this: 1) I don’t listen to the radio, 2) I don’t work at a place that has a communal radio, and 3) when for some reason I am listening to the radio – guaranteed to be my kids’ fault – and one of their songs comes on I am immediately faced with two choices: swerve into oncoming traffic or turn the radio off. I opt for the latter because how can I take my children with me to that end? They have agency; only they can choose how to live their lives. On the other hand, the first option would mean my sweet kids would never have to hear another Twenty One Pilots song…
Anyway, they all have that faux-melancholic bullshit melody that is faker than the Housewives’ newly installed jammers. They all have fake drumming and various dumb electronic sounds. And they have horrible, horseshit rapping by the rapper guy. It’s so so bad, guys. Please be honest with yourselves.
“Stressed Out” is so obviously a dime store “My Name Is” knockoff that it bleeds into poorly-done-parody territory. “Ride” is…jesus, “Ride” is odious. I hate it with the fire of a million suns.
But I have the most visceral reaction to “Heathens.” It’s like they distilled the very worst parts of their band – which is every part of their band – boiled the resulting sludge in a vat of acid and poured it straight into my goddamn ears. It’s the most repulsive thing I have ever heard. I’ve never heard the whole song and I’m very proud of that fact. You couldn’t pay me enough to listen to the whole thing – OK, I would do it for a million dollars; OK, a thousand; OK, $35. Still.
In closing, let’s look at a sampling of the lyrics of these songs.
From “Stressed Out”:
Sometimes a certain smell will take me back to when I was young,
How come I’m never able to identify where it’s coming from,
I’d make a candle out of it if I ever found it,
Try to sell it, never sell out of it, I’d probably only sell one,
God shut up.
Welcome to the room of people
Who have rooms of people that they loved one day
Just because we check the guns at the door
Doesn’t mean our brains will change from hand grenades
God please shut up.
And finally, from “Ride”:
Metaphorically, I’m the man
This is, literally, the worst line in any song ever.
But, whatever, you need to make money, I guess.
OH JESUS WHAT HAVE I BECOME.FOLLOW THE OPEN FIELD