The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die

Whenever, If Ever

Written by: DR on 22/08/2013 07:56:37

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die would like you think that they don't care. It's why they have chosen such a ridiculous band name, it's why their debut album is titled as casually as "Whenever, If Ever", and it's why their cover art - of band member 'Shitty Greg' jumping into a lake - depicts the ultimate portrait of carefree youth. But, deep down, they do care. And it's the point at which their round-eyed invincibility begins to crack, revealing their agonising, heart-aching pains of having to grow up and move on, that "Whenever, If Ever" becomes a great emo album and one of the best releases of the year so far.

Although they have guitars that twinkle, quivering vocals delivering nostalgic lyrics about life at - and ultimately away from - home, with the music in general having a warmth of friendship about it, TWIABP and its ten members and much more than a mere emo band among emo bands. Their bravado in not playing to rules or conventions - or choosing to ignore them - allows them to throw everything they have at this record and adopt influences outside of the scene's niche, while their sincerity lends the personality required to make genuinely emotive music. In adopting the grandeur of post-rock, the energy of punk and the heart-on-your-sleeve poignancy of emo music, over the course of 35 minutes they blur conventional genre-boundaries, resulting in a record of such immense scope that it should prove as a wake-up call to their contemporaries.

Many of the songs on "Whenever, If Ever" borrow the build/release song structure of post-rock - and to great effect. Some efforts seamlessly swing between soft, melancholic quiet moments to huge cathartic outbursts, and some defy logic by growing soundscapes so big, through the steady build of instrumental layers, that they would collapse in on themselves if allowed to grow any bigger. "Heartbeat In The Brain" is a great example of the band building up tremendous amounts of energy before releasing it in a massive and awe-inducing crescendo, even showing restraint in the middle as they transform the song from aggressive to romantic with a line as affectingly delivered as "If your arms are just felt then when when you hold me I'll feel held". "Picture of a Tree That Doesn't Look Okay" offers sweeping atmospheres before exploding in one of the most infectious climaxes of the record. Closer "Getting Sodas" loses none of their urgency in its opening, and is a great example of how to sound simultaneously epic and moving with its group-refrains of "And if everyone belongs there it will hold us all together / If you’re afraid to die, then so am I" as it climbs towards the record's end.

A balance is maintained throughout between the huge, drawn-out epics and the short, excitable bursts of infectious emo, and as a result the pacing of this album is absolutely perfect. Efforts like "Heartbeat In The Brain" and "Picture of a Tree..." have "Fightboat" and "You Will Never Go To Space" punctuating them, offering great energy and moments of catharsis. And then you have a song as accessible as "Gig Life", a track about the effects of touring away from home, which demonstrates the band's spotless understanding of song dynamics in allowing the instrumentation and the vocals room to breathe to give the latter the most emotional impact. No word is wasted, so when vocalist Thomas Diaz delivers a lyric like "Now it’s just Rival Schools and mewithoutYou on our car rides", it's done with such frailty that it becomes utterly captivating.

However excessive you may think it is, everything you need to know about The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die is in their name. It declares triumph in overcoming the fear of death - the ultimate and most universal of fears - to instead focus on the beauty of everyday life. It's a mission statement; one we have to achieve together. This record is about community and how your friends, not a place or location, are your real home. It is so boldly conceived and brilliantly executed that it will make you care, and it will make you join them as they leap into that lake. Together we can appreciate that the world is, indeed, a beautiful place.

9

Download: Heartbeat In The Brain, Picture of a Tree That Doesn't Look Okay, Gig Life, Getting Sodas
For The Fans of: Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate), American Football, Deer Leep, The Appleseed Cast, The Wonder Years
Listen: Facebook

Release Date 18.06.2013
Topshelf Records

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