Taking their name from the number of pilots who died in the classic American play, All My Sons (Arthur Miller), Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun stir up what’s been aptly labeled, “schizoid pop”, referring to not only the dizzying manner in which music genres switch within their songs (think Eminem guesting on a Ben Folds Five set) but for their on-stage performance and videos as well. Take this and blend in a very uplifting, dare say theistic, lyrical outlook and you have the CD, Vessel. It’s an interesting move to release this project seeing that many of the tracks on this release were available as singles in digital stores throughout 2012. However I’m sure that Warner Brothers has the answer for that with more official video releases and radio play.
On the track, “Ode To Sleep”, frontman Joseph sets the spell to push back the “demons” of depression (“I’ll stay awake, ’cause the dark’s not taking prisoners tonight”). Continuing to speak a word against depression, “Holding On To You”, is a push through emotional extremes to hold on to a steady hope (“you are surrounding all my surroundings, sounding down the mountain range of my left-side brain, you are surrounding all my surroundings, twisting the kaleidoscope behind both of my eyes”). Other tracks deal with a mother’s wishes for her son (“House of Gold”), being forced by the silence of a recent theft to think deeper about life (“Car Radio”), and concern that a frenzy for personal protection through firearms speaks to underlying fear of human touch (“Guns For Hands”). In all, the songs presented on Vessel are as honest about facing personal fears as they are steadfast in the resolve that a life without something to believe in is indeed death.