Saturday, December 27, 2014

The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die at the Bowery Ballroom

Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak
In order to start a band, Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak pieced together a drum set, took Adderall, and taught himself to play by practicing every day in his basement in Willimantic, Connecticut. A band started to come together as a four-piece, and as more local musicians caught the vision and joined, Shanholtzer-Dvorak moved to guitar. The fluid collective was entitled The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die (sometimes shortened to TWIABP) and was finally a band in 2009. The atmospheric indie band is as one of the flag bearers for the 2010s emo revival. TWIABP released its first full-length album, 2013's Whenever, If Ever, and most recently released the Between Bodies EP on October 7, 2014. TWIABP has undergone several lineup changes since its inception, but at last count was an eight-piece lineup with Shanholtzer-Dvorak, vocalist David Bello, guitarists Greg Horbal, Chris Teti and Tyler Bussey, keyboardist Katie Shanholtzer-Dvorak, bassist Josh Cyr and drummer Steven Buttery.

TWIABP's performance at the Bowery Ballroom cannot be simply described as emo. That limited description would not relate the depth and width of the performance. Derrick Shanholtzer-Dvorak and Buttery strived to take the music to paces and places uncharted, while Horbal seemed to inject a primal hardcore energy. The modulation of the songs started here and then traveled there, sometimes detouring slowcore through outer space. Songs started as a whisper and ended with a scream or vice versa, with a meandering, brooding shoegaze in between. Songs built and faded and then ended abruptly. It was a raw and more experimental art-school version of Pink Floyd. It was a cerebral landscape, like a soundtrack to psychedelic movies. TWIABP's performance was weird, yet captivating.

Visit TWIABP at www.theworldisabeautifulplace.com.