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Saturday, 17 May 2014

The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die - Josh Is Dead

Following on from my Formlessness post, here's the second of the trio of records I got from Topshelf's Euro store. Unsurprisingly, it's more TWIABP.

I'm not sure if this man even is Josh, but I'd like to hope he's not dead. Pretty jealous of his ampersand shirt, too. Maybe I can have it if he is dead after all.

It's a single sheet sleeve with two folds. Left side of the fold lists the A-side tracks, right side lists the B-side tracks. This pleases me disproportionately.

I am a big fan of TWIABP's commitment to non-black vinyl. This is a delicious red, a touch darker than it looks in this photo. There is even a little hint of white in it, slightly obscured by the reflection in this photo (my bad) but visible a little in the bottom right corner. This I believe is from the second pressing, described helpfully as "dark red" and limited to 250. It's pretty nice, whatever it is.

This was the TWIABP release I had most difficulty getting into. It's less space-y than their usual fare, with slightly lower recording quality and it's less immediately engaging than their other releases as a result. Given time though, it grows on you. There are but three tracks on this record - Blank #9 is an instrumental interlude that has to be split over two sides due to space constraints (this seems to be a common thread in TWIABP releases) - and, really, the highlight here is "To Miss Catherine (A Birthday Gift. Sorry I can't do better, but still...)". A bit of a mouthful to say, but it's an absolute beauty of a track. It starts off a little claustrophobic, but gets a little more reassuringly twinkly as it goes on, featuring some glorious shouted backing vocals and ending with a great instrumental section. Be Neon With Me is similar in tone, though is definitely less twinkly. They're both very good songs, is what I'm trying to say. The EP only a dollar on bandcamp, where there's even a sneaky mediafire link if you're feeling too stingy for that. Be sure to give it some time to grow, though.

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