The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No longer Afraid To Die – Whenever If Ever album review

If you have ever seen the movie PCU with Jeremy Piven then you know how hard it is to pick a band name that will attract people to you without them coming in with any preconceived notions of what you are all about. They went through names like Oedipus and the Momma’s Boys (too college radio) and My Johnson is 12 Inches Long before deciding to go with the charming Everyone Gets Laid. I would definitely go see a band with one of these clever names . However when someone feels the need to choose haikus for their band name like And You Shall Know Us By The Trail of the Dead or today’s subject The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No longer Afraid To Die; it makes me sigh in disgust. My friend pointed out to me that with a name that miserable, they clearly must be Morrissey fans. And when you think about it that’s actually really funny but I am a huge Thom Yorke fan and  I would never name my band This is What You Get When You Mess With Us. Actually, when I type it out; it sounds pretty fresh! We’d clearly be a punk band and our first album’s name would be The Orphans (that’s a Warriors reference for all of you youngsters out there).

The World is an 8 piece band from Willimantic, Connecticut and they have been around since 2009. If you have never heard them before, the first thing you notice is the lead singer’s voice; it literally sounds like he’s crying when he’s singing. And every time he even thinks about sounding like a normal person, it’s as if someone is torturing him by repeatedly hitting him in the balls like they did to poor James Bond in Casino Royale. Every now and then someone comes in and starts screaming in the background to presumably add a little edge but even that falls flat. I do give them credit for trying  to be a bit different from the typical indie emo band but maybe being typical should’ve been their goal in the first place, as musically they sound just fine. They bring a healthy balance of distortion and the standard atmospheric guitars you would expect to hear in this type of music. And if you have ever heard the Scottish band There Will Be Fireworks, The World sounds similar to them both musically and in their vocals however the lead here is distractingly bad.

There are actually 4 members of the band who contribute vocally and you hear this on the album’s second track Heartbreak in the Brain. When the distortion in this song kicks in it blends in well with their vocals but the second it becomes harmonic, you are left shrieking in horro. With 8 members of the band there are plenty of instruments to go around including piano and the useless horn that you hear in the next track Fightboat; which is one of the album’s highlights.

Their lyrics are as emo as they come and this is readily apparent in The Layers of Skin We Drag Around when they sing about not being young anymore and trying to learn patience when it comes to dealing with the modern world. They romanticize the days of yesteryear in which we are not that far removed from and have song titles like Picture of a Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay. Halfway through the album you want to simply give up and share these tracks with your 8 year old nephew but then you hear Ultimate Steve and it makes you wish that they would either become an all instrumental band or just replace their lead singer. It’s not as if they are reinventing the wheel musically but they are at least talented enough to hit the festival circuit.

I will say the production and the mixing of the album is excellent however that can only hide so many flaws and that ultimately makes this an album to pass on. So in the end, I would only suggest pumping this album up to the little annoying cousin of yours who you wouldn’t mind getting beat up at school. I’m kidding; please please don’t do that!

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