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IWrestledABearOnce - "Late For Nothing" (CD)

IWrestledABearOnce - "Late For Nothing" CD cover image

"Late For Nothing" track listing:

1. Thunder Chunky (3:30)
2. Letters To Stallone (3:43)
3. Snake Charmer (2:48)
4. Boat Paddle (3:31)
5. Firebees (3:01)
6. Mind The Gap (3:54)
7. Carnage Asada (2:29)
8. The Map (2:46)
9. That’s A Horse Of A Different Color (3:41)
10. I’d Buy That For A Dollar (3:11)
11. Inside Job (3:09)
12. It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind (3:15)

Reviewed by on August 16, 2013

"What might not be expected is that underneath all the silliness are some legitimately good tunes, and in essence, IWABO has trolled the whole metal scene by having the music end up nothing like the band’s persona would indicate."

A group that loves to joke and knock elitists down a peg or two (GunShyAssassin to this day won’t use the band’s name after falling for the "we’re turning black metal" prank back in 2011), IWrestedABearOnce (IWABO) clearly doesn’t take itself too seriously with the absurd song titles and album covers. What might not be expected is that underneath all the silliness are some legitimately good tunes, and in essence, IWABO has trolled the whole metal scene by having the music end up nothing like the band’s persona would indicate.

Although it starts off fairly heavy with “Thunder Chunky,” the melodic and electronic aspects come out pretty quickly and actually dominate large portions of the disc. Both high and low growls are present, but there is a huge amount of clean singing across “Late For Nothing,” which provides an appeal for fans of more traditional female-fronted bands or the beauty-and-the-beast style Gothic outfits.

The song structures themselves are fairly clear-cut, and in some cases even catchy, but there’s still a good deal of experimentation going on in the style change-ups and mix of harsh and clean. As a whole, the album is more poignant and melodic than would be expected, although there’s not a lack of insane screaming and chaotic instrumentation on tracks like “Firebees.”

Electronic flourishes pop up in the background, adding another layer to the music, and “Carnage Asada” brings out an odd combination of piano and horns to work alongside the crazy guitar antics. “Mind the Gap” focuses solely on the clean singing and would probably be considered an interlude track elsewhere, except it’s actually the longest song on the album.

It seems the big problem IWABO faces is that the juxtaposition of styles isn’t going to work for a lot of people, and many will never bother because they won’t look past the band’s surface image. Elitists who haven’t actually listened to the band and hate IWABO on principle will probably have a heart attack at this statement, but it’s probably more of the avant-garde crowd that’s going to get the most out of “Late For Nothing,” followed by lovers of female clean singing in metal. The harsher parts will work for fans of Eths, while the album’s cleaner side is definitely worth a listen for anyone who digs Lacuna Coil.

Highs: Great clean vocals and interesting mix of sounds and styles

Lows: The mashup isn't going to work for everyone, and some of the harsh vocals are overly grating

Bottom line: It won't work for everybody, but if you dig female clean vocals and like a balance of harsh and clean, be sure to check this one out.

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)