Long Live Happy Birthday will be the latest release from Connecticut “emo” band The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die on March 25th. This two track EP comes soon after the release of their very good sophomore album Harmlessness, and it’s clear to see that these two tracks here could’ve easily fit in somewhere on that record.
In fact, these were written at the same time as the album, so it might be better to treat these as bonus tracks rather than a completely different project from the band, albeit a good way to get a release of a new 7” EP out there.
That’s not to say these tracks aren’t different though, perhaps more grand than what was on their last album. On Harmlessness, the band slightly drifted from the post-rock leanings of their debut and went with a more emo indie rock driven album, similar to the 90s emo bands like American Football, Sunny Day Real Estate and a more recent band like Death Cab for Cutie, also.
The vocals were more upfront and vibrant, even if at times a little corny, but that does tend to come with the emo package. And I’d say we definitely get more of these Death Cab for Cutie-isms on this EP here as well, perhaps a post-hardcore version of Death Cab. Katamari Duquette being the better of the two, and surprising much heavier than what the band has previously released, which only works in their favour as the track builds into an epic crescendo and only leaves me wishing the track was longer to see where how far they could have taken this.
The track bursts into its most passionate moments when the refrain comes throttling in: “Away with god, away with love / Our hands are tied and stepped on.” Even More Forever moves at a slower pace and feels like it’s taking a little long to get somewhere, but the lyrics do keep you interested, like much of this band’s music, they still manage to keep an atmosphere sticking with you throughout. The lyrical poignancy of their last album really flourishes on this EP, and it’s interesting to see where there’ll take this approach in the future.