Ruining It For Everybody. Not just the title of Iwrestledabearonce’s new record, but literally a statement that embodies what this ridiculous band has done since their first EP was boasting sound drops from Clerks to Scary Movie 2. Sound clips, dubstep, electronic metal, breakdowns, math-metal spurts – you can find them all and more in the IWABO catalog. Yet, the band’s second full-length is seemingly not too much different in the musicality department, as crunching breakdowns, spastic guitar work and grandiose choruses push everything IWABO has tried to do since day one to the extreme. Would it be wrong to say they’ve matured? Perhaps they’ve taken themselves a little too seriously? Fear not, as Iwrestledabearonce manages to keep their quirky flavor of metal fresh by strengthening their songwriting muscles without taking away any of the fun they’ve allowed us to have up to this point. It may not be for everyone, but IWABO second full-length won’t disappoint if you try not to take them too seriously.
Pushing as hard as possible in nearly every direction they could, Ruining It For Everybody takes the successes of their debut full-length It’s All Happening and expands upon them in a way that strengthens the songwriting core of the band. Rather than dropping in sections like afterthoughts, they are more often than not able to craft more reasonable shifts between crushing breakdowns and soaring vocal breaks without diverting too many times along the way. “You Know That Ain’t Them Dogs’ Real Voices” switches between crushing guitar licks, led by Krysta Cameron’s powerful-as-ever screams, and soaring choruses that boast huge guitars and smooth vocal lines. Sure, they pop in for quick hits of surf rock and math-metal blitzes, but it is a strong choice for a track to acquaint new listeners to the fickle ways of this band. On the heavier end of the spectrum, IWABO sound like anything from their usual selves (“Next Visible Delicious”) to blistering death metal-channeling arrangements (“It Is “Bro” Isn’t It?”), all while incorporating pulsing kick-drums and hammering bass lines to deepen the sound. As far as the heavy end is concerned, IWABO takes a huge step forward in shaping their aggressive attack into something much more accessible and less like trying to put a wicked puzzle together. They certainly sound better off for the effort.
On the other end, IWABO wastes no resources in going for the theatrical-sounding highs of tracks like “Gold Jacket, Green Jacket”, the horror movie ready “This Head Music Makes My Eyes Rain” and “Break It Down Camacho”, spinning sometimes wispy vocals with huge melodies in what tends to be the more difficult to be accepting of in the band’s catalog. Sure, we’ve heard them crank slower numbers before, but the vocal approach here occasionally falls into a much more alt-rock tone that in some cases leaves Cameron sounding more like Amy Lee than anything else. If anything, the band leaves enough space between its delves into the mellower timbres to inject the occasional spirit of heaviness into the proceedings, even if it is just a burst here or there. While not the band's strongest suit to play, they certainly don't feel the need to shy away from the down-tempo jams, as the atmosphere and production of such tracks provide a stark backdrop for Cameron and company to explore a dark, yet peculiar playground. Still, they provide solid breaks to the aural assault of guitars and drums that most of Ruining It For Everybody boasts like a proud mom whose kid just won the science fair. The album's finale wraps everything up as a perfect example of combining both sounds though, as "Button It Up" gives us plenty of crunch up front – leaving a dreamy, melodic center to set up an epic, synth-backed finale to the record.
Iwrestledabearonce certainly lives up to their reputation on their sophomore release, keeping true to their heavy roots without ignoring their desire for the electronically-led slower tracks they’ve been dabbling in since the band’s inception. Not only have they never been stronger, but they’ve never sounded so intent on being both ridiculous and serious without letting one overshadow the other. Whether or not you’re down with it, Ruining It For Everybody proves this band isn’t the flash in the pan novelty act some have labeled them to be.
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
iwrestledabearonce is an experimental metalcore band from Shreveport, Louisiana. The band incorporate various styles of music and shuffle through them rapidly but they do maintain an overall metalcore sound with electronic influence. Since their formation in 2007, they've released one self-titled EP within the same year via Tragic Hero Records and a full length album, It's All Happening, in 2009 via Century Media. ... read more