Indie-rock outfit The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (shortened to TWIABP) release a debut slathered in post-rock-esque crescendos as well as melodramatic crooning and chord progressions akin to many mid 90’s emo acts. Essentially, the band appears to be a seamless cross between bands like Explosions in the Sky and The Get Up Kids, while also incorporating trumpet and cello into the mix. With these musical ideas, TWIABP have crafted an interesting album that treats the listener with something out-of-the-ordinary.
Whenever, If Ever molds the emo and post-rock ideals to convey very beautiful music layered on top of vocals that describe imagery of nature (paying homage to TWIABP’S tree-laden homeland of Connecticut), friendship, touring and many other topics. The lyrics are diverse across these ten tracks, whether they appear to be cryptic or straightforward, the aforementioned imagery, as well as fascinating personal insight on different situations. Although the lyrics are intriguing, the vocals can be very hit-or-miss. The quintessential “emo” vocals are definitely present on this release, and while the quivering voices on some tracks show a poignant vulnerability (“Heartbeat in the Brain”), they just as easily become cheesy and overbearing.
This is evident on the track “Ultimate Steve,” where a whole gang of whiny voices coalesce to pester the listener like a crew of cicadas. However, on every single track on this album, the music behind the vocals is on point. The musical creativity flows like a rapid river from every musician. The songs all have very complex musical formation, ripe with unexpected tempo-changing, but the musicians all handle the complicated melodies and time changing with ease. The instruments are also versatile, shown by creating many different types of songs; certain tracks are long and contemplative, while others are quick and upbeat.
Despite the occasionally tiring vocals, Whenever, If Ever definitely demonstrates great songwriting and ambition, with interesting musical structuring and innovative genre-crossing. Fans of emo, indie-rock and post-rock can rejoice.
PRETTY NEAT MUSIC
Standout Tracks: Low Light Assembly, Heartbeat in the Brain, Picture of a Tree that Doesn’t Look Okay