Iwrestledabearonce - _It's All Happening_
(Century Media, 2009)
by: Daniel Cairns (8 out of 10)
Reviewer's note: You may have seen me disparage this band in my review of Brutal Truth's _Evolution Through Revolution_. Since listening to the record, I have to report that my anus was talking that day. So apologies for that...

Iwrestledabearonce are funny. Like, properly funny. You only need to see the video for "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon" to see that we're dealing with a bunch of goofy bastards. It starts out as your bogstandard metal band performance video, and then twenty seconds in they're wearing tennis gear, making silly faces and dancing like post-op transsexuals. Needless to say I was quietly taken aback.

And now we have the album, and to hell with you all, I really quite like it. It's like The Dillinger Escape Plan with comedy parp! parp! noises and naff Eighties bit, and it makes me smile and smile.

Here's the thing. Many think that Iwrestledabearonce are a gimmicky take on metalcore, but the fact is, they're too damned weird and artsy to be dismissed as such. For every bit of crunching guitar or ‘BOINK!' moment, there's a jazzy interlude or a Björk-esque wailing vocal. There are even moments that remind me (favourably, I hasten to add) of Mr Bungle's first record. It's a half hour clusterfuck that's compelling and addictive. And very, very fucking heavy.

Kudos should go to their singer Krysta. Her clean vocals are pleasant enough, but when she opens her gob for the heavy moments, it's mildly disconcerting. She's got nothing on Kat from Agoraphobic Nosebleed / Salome, but by Christ she can roar and growl like a she-bastard. The band are no slouches either, and can shred just as well as the gnarliest and scariest in the genre.

All is not perfect, however. It sometimes feels like they're trying too hard to be wacky and fun. If the metal genre were an office environment, Iwrestledabearonce would be the ones wearing comedy ties, posting 'hilarious' links to your e-mail, and painting their cocks fluorescent yellow at the office bash. It's nice that they make the effort, but less is more sometimes. You can imagine fellow office dwellers like Pig Destroyer or Neurosis wanting to take a stapler to their face.

Thinking back though, that's the only thing I can really call a grievance. I was generally taken aback by how impressive _It's All Happening_ was, and it serves me right for being cynical after some silly hessian bastards dismissed them as posers.

Iwrestledabearonce prove that metal can be silly and progressive at the same time, without sounding like a heap of shit. I don't know where they'll go from this point, but it'll be interesting to see.


Contact: http://www.myspace.com/iwrestledabearonce

(article published 4/7/2009)

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