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Review: "Always Foreign" by TWIABP

by Lou Venditti - News Editor
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 05:00 pm
Photo courtesy of TWIABP's official Instagram page
Photo courtesy of TWIABP's official Instagram page

The World is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die, or TWIABP, has almost as many members as words in its name. The line-up is a constant revolving door, with seven members being credited to the band’s newest record “Always Foreign”. The Connecticut emo outfit has long tread on strange sonic landscapes and continues the trend with its third LP, “Always Foreign”. The shift isn’t necessarily growing up, but more of forward progress. 

“Always Foreign” takes a distinct political tone throughout the record. TWIABP noted that the record would be a reaction to the Trump administration. The record takes its largest bite in “Marine Tigers”. Frontman David F. Bello sings of his father, Jose, who wrote a book by the same name. He sings about immigration and living as an immigrant. 

“Can you still call it a country if all the states are broken,” Bello crows. “Came in on Marine Tigers, or the boat Lorraine was named for.” 

The band takes more sonic leaps in “Faker”. The five minute song builds to a tipping point, eventually bringing the brass section in for a loud finish. 

“When do the fires start in city streets, when the flag burns away?” Bello sings at the peak. 

While “Always Foreign” has a distinct political narrative, the record deals with larger and broader issues in more creative ways. Songs like “Dillon and Her Son” and “The Future” are some of the fastest songs the band has written. The opening baseline in “Dillon and Her Son” is enough to keep your head bumping for the whole track, which is unusual of a TWIABP song. 

The band’s continued member changes seem to be addressed succinctly in “Hilltopper.” The band recently parted ways with founding member Nicole Shanholtzer in a relatively public event. 

“Can’t seem to erase you, I threw out all the records you’re on,” Bello sings. “Every week there’s another friend who doesn’t know how bad you got.” 

A TWIABP album wouldn’t be complete without an ending song of some epic proportions, and “Always Foreign” delivers with “Infinite Steve”. In six minutes, TWIABP explores a post-rock atmospheric vibe. The song hits a fever pitch early, with Bello’s vocals cutting through the building crescendo flawlessly. Unlike its predecessors, “Infinite Steve” lacks a pure sing-along ending. 

TWIABP didn’t take many leaps for this new record, but the band did expand its experimentation with sound. TWIABP pushed the boundaries of horns in indie rock and we will likely look back on this record as a wonderful feat. However, in the moment, the record feels lackluster and like every TWIABP record that has come before. It stands up, but it doesn’t stand out. 

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