Review Summary: The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die are fraught with emotion, very adept at constructing gorgeous guitar parts and, well, beautiful.
We live in age where there is more music than ever before and thanks to a little thing called the internet this music is readily available at our fingertips. We really are spoilt for choice, if we’re being honest. So it follows that a lot of genuinely good bands go unnoticed, purely because there is so much choice and competition out there. To combat this many bands adopt quirky, peculiar or even downright ridiculous names that will grab potential listener’s attentions. This being said, may I introduce you to The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die. Even when abbreviated to TWIABP&IANLTD their name is longer than a lot of bands. The band play a mix of indie, post-rock and emo – like a blend of A Bunny’s Caravan, Moving Mountains, Mineral and The Gloria Record – and play it very well, indeed. Having only released a small but growing amount of material in their burgeoning career it is astonishing to hear how quickly they have mastered their sound.
‘Formlessness’ is TWIABP&IANLATD’s proper debut EP (a demo featuring three of the four tracks found here was also released earlier in the year) and it is astounding to hear just how ‘natural’ it all sounds for a band who are still effectively in their infancy. Nothing sounds forced here – though clearly TWIABP… have made great effort in constructing such fragilely beautiful songs. While not sounding forced, every single note on ‘Formlessness’ sounds as if a great amount of love and care has gone into it. The first three tracks are all very concise yet eventful. ‘Victim Kin Seek Suit’
gently builds to a warm, fuzzy explosion led by the guitars and subtle, yet effective synths; ‘Gordon Paul’
flows seamlessly through several notably different sections with ease and teases with its distant screams while ‘Walnut Street Is Dead’
seemingly swells towards a crescendo before surprising the listener with an unexpectedly light, carefree finale. The final track on the EP ‘ Eyjafjallajokull Dance’
(Eyjafjallajokull was the Icelandic volcano that erupted and ruined everyone in Europe’s flight plans for a month or so last year) is more expansive and grandiose and as such displays a more complex, mature approach to song writing.
The way in which the guitars interweave throughout the EP, especially on the final track, often resemble the softer moments of Sunny Day Real Estate’s seminal 1994 album ‘Diary’, only with a decidedly colder feel. Though the intricate, minor key melodies throughout ‘Formlessness’ give the whole EP a wintry feel, it would be wrong to assume that ‘Formlessness’ sounds defeated or miserable. Rather, it comes across as an endearingly yearning and, more importantly, beautiful piece of work. It is all so simplistic but so carefully constructed that it seems so very natural.
Whether opting for succinct simplicity (the sudden dynamic shift in ‘Victim Kin Seek Suit’) or something even more intricate (the sprawling beauty of ‘Eyjafjallajokull Dance ‘) TWIABP… are very effective. ‘Formlessness’ is fraught with emotion and this is owing to the sparse, swelling guitars, carefully layered vocals and tight-knit rhythm section. You should not let the ridiculous band name put you off (for the record, I actually quite like it, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think it was a bit much) because in ‘Formlessness’ The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die have created one of the most gorgeously beautiful EPs in recent memory. Definitely ones to watch in 2011.