I watch a fair amount of space-oriented television shows. I would be more than comfortable saying that the music of The World Is a Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid to Die works as a pseudo-backdrop for space exploration nine times out of ten. The band’s newest song “Picture of a Tree That Doesn’t Look Okay,” from their upcoming debut LP Whenever, If Ever fits that mold quite nicely. It does such a good job of carrying the band’s torch while progressing just enough that it might already be among my favorite TWIABP cuts to date.
The slow churn of the first near-half of the track is something to be drowned in – at least metaphorically – as the lumbering guitars and sparse drums tease us along a murky exploratory track of wondering sorts with light synths and layered vocals tugging at us. But when the song picks up, summoning pop-punk leans without cutting the band’s emo tendencies and musical chops, it explodes with energy in just the right way. Twinkling (gotta get that joke in there) melodies and pulsing drums push the track towards sing-along territory while it ingrains itself in your memory. It perhaps is not as anthemic as a song like “Victim Kin Seek Suit,” but the contrast between sections is still sharp enough to create a huge sense of dynamics in the track, giving us more than enough to soak up through the four-minute running time.
With a blistering shimmer and plenty of catharsis, The World Is – all now eight of them – have created a piece of music that should serve as a well-positioned gap between their handful of splits and EPs and this soon to come LP. Safe to say, fans of the band will be super anxious to hear the rest of the album after hearing this track.