The World is a Beautiful Place & I am No Longer Afraid To Die – ‘Always Foreign’

By Liam Knowles

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die (or, as they shall be known for the rest of this review, TWIABP, because seriously eff writing that multiple times) are an unusual beast, boasting seven full time members, plus a slew of additional musicians that join them when it’s time to record. They’re basically emo Slipknot. Their multi-faceted, thickly textured sound has been warmly welcomed since they formed in 2009, although their penchant for comedy merch and relentlessly trolling their own fans on social media certainly hasn’t hurt the viral nature of their success.

Ridiculous name and online antics aside, TWIABP definitely take one thing seriously and that’s the music they create. ‘Always Foreign’ is an extremely elaborate record, and it’s clear that the band and their associates have toiled over every little detail. Opening with ‘I’ll Make Everything’, the guitars shimmer behind the call and response, choir-like vocals creating an atmosphere verging on post-rock before a trumpet solo breaks through. This track clocks in at just under two and a half minutes but sets the tone perfectly for the ambitious nature of what’s to come.

Tracks like ‘The Future’ and ‘Dillon and her Son’ showcase TWIABP’s ability to make upbeat, fun numbers with playful synth lines and hook-laden choruses, but their real strength lies in the grandiose. Perhaps the best example of this is ‘Marine Tigers’, a seven minute opus about racism and alienation that reflects on the experiences of vocalist David Bello’s father when he moved to America from Peurto Rico in the 1940s. The tangible, personal emotion in the lyrics is matched by the overwhelming crescendos; the trumpet yet again put to expert use to create a frenzied atmosphere, but the vocals remain calm and collected throughout. You’d be forgiven for thinking that emo as a genre deals exclusively with personal struggles but TWIABP are clearly socially aware and aren’t afraid to parade that fact lyrically on several tracks across the album.

Quite a few bands are currently enjoying success following the revival of ‘real’ emo, but if it is a fad then there’s no doubt whatsoever that TWIABP will outlast it. They’ve carved a niche in a genre that’s hard to get creative with and pushed boundaries without becoming directionless. It would be a crime for ‘Always Foreign’ not to boost the band’s profile, if nothing else so that they can more regularly play venues where they can all fit on the stage.


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