ALBUM REVIEW: ‘Harmlessness’

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Shit… I’m exhausted from listening to this record.

The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die released their second full length album, Harmlessness, in September, and goddamn, it’s extremely gravy. Talking chunky, thick creaminess you can drizzle over any moment of self reflection. If you’re into humans emoting
through honest colorful music or you’re into feeling a little less alone every now and then, this is your meal ticket.

The Connecticut group works somewhere in the ambiguous post-emo genre. The classification of emo might be what’s holding a band with this amount of gravitas to duke it out in modern punk’s perceivably juvenile scene instead of destroying crowds in the festival circuit and headlining world tours. Not that those two things should be anyone’s goal, but due to the maximalist extremes on this record you can safely assume the band’s ambitions. Even with the hushed minimal tracks, the themes are big.

BIG SONGS. BIG EMOTIONS. BIG OLE GORGEOUS HAPPENINGS IN THE BULLY SPECTRUM OF HUMANITY. SWEET. SAD. ELATION THROUGH VIBRATION AND SONIC COLORS.

And it might seem, according to when you were introduced to the term, these are perfect subjects for the genre but emo is viewed as a very dirty genre term still, and that’s why I refuse to drape emo over everything containing emotion and reverb. TWIABP, through the muscle of their content and their laxed approach to media posturing, are able to piss on the melodramatic nature of the genre term. Just look at their name. See anything ironic about that?

This band works a lot of great musical ideas and lyrical content into this fifty-four minute album. Ideas bigger than the genre revival bandwagon that music journalism seems to pin to their albums. So now that I’ve covered the term, emo, and how it pertains to how other music journalist speak about this band, let’s get to the music.

There’s a wide range of riffs on the record. Tasty angular riffs. American Football type pristinely clean noodling. Distant tones miles away from aggressive. “Sloppy with intent” riffage. They even cover dank swelling post-hardcore grandstanding a good bit too. There’s a myriad of tastes and tones throughout, mobilized by the sick display of percussion and the piercing ache of the vocal performance. The record never loses momentum and stays colorful. If you’ve ever wondered what Arcade Fire would sound like covering Jimmy Eat World, The Weakerthans, or American Football, check this album out. I know you most likely don’t purchase music anymore, but why not give it a few spins and head out to a show the next time they’re in town.

Now I’m gonna take a nap because I’m emotionally exhausted.

Listen to and/or purchase Harmlessness here.

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About Charles Ray Hastings Jr.

Charles Ray Hastings Jr. is a musician, producer, and writer based in Huntsville, Alabama. The twenty-nine year old Alabama native has written, recorded, and produced over twenty-five solo and band albums and has had essays and short stories published through webzines, small press, and magazines like Before Sunrise Press, Two Dollar Radio, Flaneur, and That Lit Site.

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