Label : Century Media Records

Review by Si Smith

Apparently Iwrestledabearonce don’t play by the rules. Except their own. What comes out the other end is a mixed up hash of electronics, screaming and breakdowns. But not as you would expect. The album begins with “Next Visible Delicious”, by stating its purpose clearly and precisely. It is as in your face as your own nose. Starting with computer age electronics it soon breaks into deathcore shrieks and then mellows into a nicely lilted sung portion by vocalist Krysta. Guitars remain with an industrial sound before the inevitable breakdowns kick in and there is a return to the electronics from the intro. If the first track is anything to go by, we are in for anything but a smooth ride! After this the album shifts into more recognisable metalcore territory with “You Know That Ain’t Them Dog’s Real Voice”, but again interspersed with melodic sung passages. Musically the riffs are busy and still involve breakdowns and electronics. But there is enough of a sense of humour injected here and there to suggest that there is more to Iwrestledabearonce than simple metalcore. Lyrically things are a little more confusing. The song never comes to a real climax or conclusion. “Deodorant Can’t Fix Ugly” is as fun as the title suggests, the humour definitely helping to lift the band from the average. Musically this track is refreshing at this point, just when the shrieks become a little jarring, a different group vocal comes in. “The Head Music Makes My Eyes Rain” is the nearest thing to a ballad on the album and once again serves up something different. Metalcore terrain slams us in the face with the next track “It Is Bro Isn’t It”, although the slower clean vocals sound much better than the male equivalent in songs such as this one. “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket” presents us with a melodic yet extremely heavy chorus and gang vocals add a new touch to this song. “Break It Down Comancho” allows for some balladic singing parts where Krysta can really show off her melodic vocal lines. “Stay to the Right” contains some remarkably dissonant riffs for people who like that sort of thing. “I’m Gonna Shoot” once again breaks the mold, starting slow and building up to a roving riff then the breakdowns and electronics return. The album’s first single “Karate Nipples” is as schizoid as the rest, taking what you know of genres and mashing them into metalcore madness. “Button It Up” does what it says on the tin, and effectively closes the album with more of the same, complete with growling riffs and swirling electronics. Iwrestledabearonce have stated that they want to offer “a release and reprieve from all of the world’s madness.” Granted this kind of guttural core music can offer a release of pent up emotion, expressing as it does a variety of moods along the way. But for this reviewer it seems very much a reflection of the world’s madness rather than a reprieve from it. If you go with the band’s mission statement and keep an open mind, then this will be a greatly liberating album. If you have more of an idea of how you would like your music to sound then you may be disappointed. But maybe that’s just what Iwrestledabearonce want. To break your rules.

Rating – 65/100

 

Tracklist

  1. Next Visible Delicious
  2. You Know That Ain’t Them Dogs’ Real Voices
  3. Deodorant Can’t Fix Ugly
  4. This Head Music Makes My Eyes Rain
  5. It Is “Bro” Isn’t It?
  6. Gold Jacket, Green Jacket
  7. Break It Down Camacho
  8. Stay to the Right
  9. I’m Gonna Shoot
  10. Karate Nipples
  11. Button It Up

 

Line Up

  • Krysta Cameron – Vocals
  • Steven Bradley – Guitar & Programming
  • John Ganey – Guitar & Programming
  • Mike “Rickshaw” Martin – Bass
  • Mikey – Drums 

 

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