Everything that Crash of Rhinos brought to the table from their music to their vocals to their whole idea of trying to broaden the genre of emo-core was blown out of the water by TWIABPAIANLATD (or however you want to abbreviate that). This album honestly came out of nowhere because I never thought I would hear this development in a band whose music is so rooted in insecurity and angst. The whole boundary around the genre was stretched past breaking point with the way Whenever, If Ever ebbs and flows with their sound, the diversity in the vocals, the introduction of other instruments like the trumpet and the over all package that the album is. The band’s understanding of music is intricate and having the quiet intros and interludes smashed apart by the epic roars of the guitar and vocals alike is cool, but the way that the synth, cello and trumpet are incorporated into a genre of music that normally is isolated to drums, guitar and bass is where I first started making my personal connections with the band. Being able to make music as emotional as this is but also as sophisticated is something I have been looking for in all my years of musical listening and being able to say I found it in 2013 makes me incredulous sometimes.
Sometimes I think I only liked this band because of the ridiculousness of their name, and that certainty was the only reason I decided to check them out. There is so much more than that though that comes from this album and I think it comes down to how needed emotional music is for every body. If it is done right, people can make instant, life long connections with an album simply because they can just embody exactly how someone is feeling. That was the original reason that emo music became so popular I think, because the idea that emotion could be passed and shared through music in such a naked way that is the genre of emo had never been done before. On this album, that whole idea is taken to such a higher level because of how elaborate the music is but also because of how potent the sound of the vocals is.
The way “Heartbeat in the Brain” starts with the pure stripped down moan that ends with but a whisper of “when will I see you again” followed by the pure agony that is the scream right after is an emotional roller coaster and the perfect song to understand what this band is about. As emotional as Crash of Rhinos singer is, TWIABP’s singer completely and utterly destroys him with vocal range, screaming ability, and the pure passion he can concoct with his voice.
The buildups, the comedowns, the vocals, the guitar, the trumpet; trying to talk about everything I loved about this album would just take too long. This is an album I will always associate with my time at the University of Georgia and that alone will make it special to me for a long time. Even if and when those memories fade though, I think this is going to be the album I return to if I ever need to let myself go while listening to music and the next time I am shaken to the core from sadness or anger or just need to scream, this is the album I am almost positive I will find myself listening to.