The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die - Between Bodies [EP] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die

Between Bodies [EP] (2014)

Broken World

Whenever, If Ever was one of the most heartfelt and touching records I connected with in the past decade. There was something about it, something special and something real. It definitely helped build TWIABP's pedigree as one of the flagships pushing the emo scene but more so, it continued to add to an already impressive collection of works from a band that crafted their trade uniquely and with sincere industry. Between Bodies however switches up things, heavily, as it extends itself as a collaboration with spoken word artist/poet, Chris Zizzamia, which does provide some risk but one which doesn't eventually end as bad as some would assume. It definitely is a fork in the road that would no doubt leave fans polarized in their opinions but one they should give a proper chance to. Why? Well because it ends up being a record that die—hard fans would stick to (and not because it's anything musically powerful — no disrespect meant) because that personal connection cultivated by the band over the past few years may just be enough for you to latch onto this experimental spin.

As a fan of spoken—word and poetry, I'm not adverse to this. La Dispute sticks well to me when they do it. Another band that comes to mind is Troubled Coast. They more or less perfected it with their post—rock/post—hardcore take on the genre. Now, one thing needs to be made clear. On this release, which is a collaboration between The World is a Beautiful Place and poet Chris Zizzamia, it is more Zizzamia speaking over TWIABP's music rather than the band jamming and allowing the poet to slip a thought in here and there. Zizzamia's the one at the forefront here, running the show with the band backing up.

"Blank #8 / Precipice" and "Space Explorations To Solve Earthly Crises" justify this statement. They're definitely made for MewithoutYou fans, bringing forth so many shades of Aaron Weiss. The delivery here's just as spot on and also, just as telling. Well—timed and well—worn. The latter is neatly layered with the group's slow, emo and melodic feel as David Bello's vocals shadow in the background. The record could definitely have been more balanced with more Bello coming forth but again, it seems that would displace what they were trying to do poetry—wise. I guess they wanted their sound to be more subtle, which may have defeated the flow of the record a bit. It feels too jammy at times as opposed to a soothing, coherent tapestry, which is what I would imagine they aim for.

However, you've got acoustic elements, trumpets and synth—fueled pieces sprinkled all over the record to continue permeating the ecletic and musically—intricate atmosphere of music old. "Thanks" picks up right where 2013 left off and is one of the few tracks, if not the only one, that follows their usual shtick. As you subtly pick up on other little familiarities from them — post—rock tinges, shoegaze spots and a mathy decor here and there — you appreciate how much they try to incorporate things to please old fans. Does it work fully? Not really. But it still doesn't totally miss the mark. Was this the EP I wanted? Nope. Was it one that'll hurt them? No way. What Between Bodies displays is a little interlude they may need from all their extensive work on the road. In fact, it pans out like a breather — one you hope re—energizes them for a next kickass LP. If it's one band who can afford this little recess and then come back guns blazing, it's definitely these folks. This isn't a permanent move so why not give them the benefit of the doubt. They're too musically deft to do anything otherwise.