For Fans Of
iwrestledabearonce are at it again with another serving of their patented style of avant-garde metal, but this time around it seems the band has lost their penchant for relentless craziness. With the release of ‘Late for Nothing’, they have somewhat abandoned their trademark use of sporadic changes in tempo, dynamics and style in favour of a more straightforward sound. This is a decision that will most likely divide audiences as long-time fans will no doubt be left yearning for the insanity that was encapsulated on their first full-length, while listeners who could never get into the band before may find themselves able to tolerate their music for the first time.
Sound quality-wise, this is the most polished record iwrestledabearonce have ever produced. The instrumentation is tight and the overall mix is nice and clear. Courtney LaPlante has done a mostly good job of taking over from ex-vocalist Krysta Cameron and in fact you may not even notice the difference between the two singers, at least in terms of their gutturals. It is during the clean vocal sections however that the distinction between the two becomes more obvious. While LaPlante‘s voice is by no means hard to listen to, it also isn’t a real standout point of the album. Compared to the soaring vocal melodies Cameron used to deliver, LaPlante‘s contributions mostly fall flat. They’re not bad, it’s just disappointing to think about how much more the overall sound of the album could have benefited from the powerful, operatic style of Cameron‘s vocals.
As for the rest of the band, everything is locked in well but the ideas presented on ‘Late for Nothing’ lack the wild and at times hilarious flair that you used to expect from iwrestledabearonce. The fact the overall absurdity the band is known for has been greatly downplayed on this record is probably a sign of maturation. But, for the people that were drawn to them because of how ridiculous they were, this might not sit too well. There’s still the odd moment of musical madness, but these are few and far between. ‘Carnage Asada’ is a standout track, and actually includes a solo by legendary guitarist Steve Vai.
‘Late for Nothing‘ is the kind of album you should listen to if you’ve never been able to appreciate iwrestledabearonce before, however long-time fans may be left feeling less than satisfied. Every now and then you might hear some of the unpredictability the band became known for on ‘It’s All Happening‘ but it’s becoming much harder to tell them apart from other bands within their genre.
1. Thunder Chunky
2. Letters to Stallone
3. Snake Charmer
4. Boat Paddle
6. Mind the Gap
7. Carnage Asada
8. The Map
9. That’s a Horse of a Different Color
10. I’d Buy That for a Dollar
11. Inside Job
12. It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind