Review Summary: Wherever. Whenever. I'll be there to listen to one of the Greatest Hits of Midwest Emo and Post Rock of all time. Instrumentally inspired by bands like Moving Mountains and Explosions In the Sky, the Connecticut post rock band is back!
The 1999 debut album, American Football, was considered to be the beginning of the revolution and transformation of emotive hardcore. This album was essentially the liaison, in which linked and connected the sound of the first wave to the sound of second wave of emotive hardcore. As a result, this album along with the 1998 Cap'n Jazz album titled, Analphabetapolothology, truly defined the ambiguous sounds, characteristics, and passion of emotive hardcore. In short, American Football, Cap'n Jazz, and bands alike Mineral and Gloria Record are basically the godfathers of Midwest Emo; their albums were beautifully and impeccably fresh, energetic, passionate, and emotionally designed. To this day, American Football, Cap'n Jazz, Mineral, and Gloria Record are still the inspirations and motivations behind the ideas of many emotional rock bands like Tigers Jaw, Empire Empire (I Was A Lonely Estate), and Joie De Vivre. Of course inspired particularly, The World Is A Beautiful And I Am No Longer Afraid To Die, who have changed gears lately and have become substantially better lyrically and instrumentally. The year is 2013 and they have finally release a new full length LP, Whenever If Ever. However, this time around they have come to a fully matured post rock and emo sound influenced by bands like Moving Mountains and Explosions In The Sky.
Onto The Music: (Let's Dissect Every Track Individually)
Blank#9: (Rating:4.0) Softly yet beautifully and resonantly sounded, the guitars are rich and sonically echoing amongst the quietness. The hissing of the cymbals colorfully paint the plethora of emotions of the backbone of the track. The dynamics are considerably subtle and done well. They really surprise you, from the pianissimo of the pounding toms to the mezzo piano of the cello. I am totally serious; the strings of the cello plucked every heartstring of mine and left a hole within my chest. Although this track is awfully short, it gives a lot more than simply a violin. It gives me something to look forward to in the next track.
Heartbeat In The Brain: (Rating:4.0) The guitars are flamboyant and fraught of excitement while the drums are smooth and fraught of bliss. Upbeat and passionately harmonized with beautiful chord progressions, the drums kick off with crashing cymbals and controlled yet complex rock fills. Out of the blue half way through the track, the track breaks into a quiet melody along with humming-like guitars. After the short break, the guitars and the drums explode into an electrifying fiesta of happiness.
Fightboat: (Rating:3.8) Kicks off with blaring trumpets and booming guitar riffs, the Connecticut band uses the synthesizer to its best in order produce and alter the sounds of the music. This track in particular produces probably the happiest and bubbly sounds that I have ever heard. Filled with mere patterns of exotic instrumentation that orchestrate the lively guitar and drum milieus, this track is perfect to headbang to, dance, and even to leap from the highest cliff and then into a freezing ocean while ignoring the consequences.
Picture of a Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay: (Rating 4.5) This track is by far one of my favorite emo tracks that I have ever heard. Greg and Chris vocally and musically compose soft instrumentation and tender melodies. This track likewise to Blank#9 plays with its dynamics. The track at first starts with a clean and simple drumbeat, then Greg takes the lead. He carefully harmonizes every note and knows when to change pitch. He does it so flawlessly. The guitars noodle around with sweet and joyous chords. All of a sudden half way through the track yet again, Greg voice crescendos and musically goes from piano to mezzo forte. The track then closes with fortissimo and repeats the same chorus over and over. Surprisingly, it returns to pianissimo in the end.
You Will Never Let Go To Space: (Rating:3.5) After the quiet and on and off loudness of Picture of a Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay, everything flows perfectly into this track. Yes, this track is very short, but it experiments with piano and trumpet instrumentation. It concludes with bright cymbals and crashes, as well as a brusque bass. This track reminds of something that would be produced by Gloria Record. Possibly even the song Grace, The Snow Is Here.
The Layers of Skin We Drag Around: (Rating: 4.0) Yet again, another classical riff and shimmering bass, Greg in this track seems to retell his experiences of a relationship that he once had. He explains it all with vivid detail over an almost deafening and dark guitar rhythm. The track closes with Greg shouting triumphantly and harmonizing at the same time, which is quite impressive and gives some artistic variety to the album. Furthermore, it gives some deeper complexity and force.
Ultimate Steve: (Rating: 4.5) Another favorite of mine, that starts off with extremely soft, steadily played guitar picking and then to accented flams from the snare drum. In midst of the accented flams and guitar picking, you can hear the chaotic uproar from the trumpets. All the instrumentation gradually builds over a small period time and once it reaches its peak, the snare drum work comes to play which by the way is extremely remarkable. The track then EXPLODES to a burst of mixed feelings and sentiments, all storming down a mountain like an avalanche. The vocals get increasingly louder and then begin to become very dissonant and resonant in the long run.
Gig Life: (Rating:4.0) Starts with an almost acoustic guitar feel and gives an unpredictable formula of dynamics. On this track, they play with the synthesizer and distort the sound of the guitars from a very harsh sound to a more dreamy and twinkly sound.
Low Light Assembly: (Rating:5.0) No words can express how I feel about the next two and final tracks of the LP. The Low Light Assembly is my number two favorite track on the album. As soon as I heard the vocals, my heart stopped and literally grew wing of its own and then flutter away out my window that night. Yes, I may have exaggerated; however, this track is honestly HEARTBREAKING. This track along with blank#9 are the only tracks that are soft and quiet throughout the album. Lyrics burn in my heart and I absolutely love the way the vocals are accompanied with clean female vocals. In addition, I love the piano and the guitar solo, these two instruments on this track make my heart want to drown in its own pool flooded of broken memories. Perfect.
Getting Soda: (Rating:5.0)Again, I can repeat every word that I just said or I can tell you how amazing this song. Do not hate me for it, but there is no valid reason good enough to tell me otherwise. Listen to this track and tell me THE WORLD IS A BEAUTIFUL AND I AM NO LONGER AFRAID TO DIE. The track closes with an incredible musical composition, especially, the drums. The clean and cut drum roll gradually builds momentum and force while the guitars slowly crescendo their way up heaven. Greg just gives it his all and sings the chorus, “The world is a beautiful place but we have to make it that way. Whenever you find home we’ll make it more than just a shelter. And if everyone belongs there it will hold us all together. If you’re afraid to die, then so am I.".” The guitars increasingly get faster and faster likewise the drum rolls build up so fast to the point where it seems impossible to play.