It can be tempting to trace the roots of psychedelic culture back to the plant-eating, headband-wearing hippies of the 1960s, but doing so neglects an extensive and riveting past. Historical accounts tell of smoking hemp seed in Ancient Greece, consuming mushrooms in the Aztec Empire and the Viking cultures of Scandinavia and chewing peyote in Native American societies across the United States.
Machine Gun Kelly’s newest project, Tickets To My Downfall, has had considerable success since dropping in September. The pop-punk inspired album debuted atop the Billboard Charts after selling 126,000 units in its first week. The collection of songs remains relevant and has championed a revival of the ubiquitous rock sound of the early 2000s.
Ironically, while clearly a sonic experiment, the project centers around the same conceptual premise Kelly has long asspoused : Life is hard and Kelly’s fame and fortune have only exacerbated his emotional troubles. This is hardly a novel concept in music, yet the particular combination of sound, lyrics and vocals set this album apart and promulgate a unique message we can all learn from. Tickets to My Downfall explores emotional angst, but to a celebratory and passionate tune.