Review Summary: Iwrestledabearonce aren't actually Ruining It For Everybody. How ironic.4 of 6 thought this review was well written
Iwrestledabearonce, a band that frequently causes division in the metal community; the division being you either love them or hate them, it's that simple. Iwrestledabearonce are a creation that even Dave Mustaine couldn't predict, they play what is considered to be metal, which is their musical foundation. However, instead of turning into a typical 'core' band, they create a musical monster, a monster that contains jazz, mathcore, 70's disco and operatic vocals with the harsh screams and much more, all being implemented at a high caliber on their second LP. Ruining It For Everybody is an evolution of It's All Happening with vast improvements across the entire spectrum, it's even more cohesive than it's predecessor.
IWABO are typically classed amongst their fellow 'core' bands, yet they have something unique for their appointed genre: a female vocalist. Krysta's vocals have improved vastly, her singing is excellent, her harmonies are bigger than before. Her voice carries much more emotion this time around. Vocally, she ranges from a soft sweet melody to a soaring operatic, over-exaggerated tone that is quite beautiful sounding, not only that but her voice seems to have much more stamina; she can hold her notes for longer without them losing pitch. Not only has her singing improved, but her screaming seems stronger and not as 'noisy', which has been helped by the production of RIFE. Now, not everyone will enjoy Krysta's vocals, people either want one or the other, i.e the singing or the screaming, and some want neither. Her voice isn't for everyone, it will leave some people polarized and others humming along.
Instrumentally, IWABO have pushed themselves, while, at the same time they don't take too many chances. They expand on what they already know; adding sporadic electronics that sound like they're from various era's, basing more of their structure around the synth element, coming across more confident in this particular area. The guitars are just as kooky and then some, the guitarists have excelled themselves; from the strange time/signature changes to the various genre-spanning riffs and breakdowns. The drums pound throughout RIFE, the crashing of the cymbals sound polished and the drums as a whole seem far more fleshed out, contributing to the overall heaviness of RIFE. Furthermore, the songs are more cohesive following some sort of standard structure, while not detracting any surprises from the listener. Although, not everyone will appreciate the quirky electronics, such as the Elvis sample in 'You Know That Ain't Them Dog's Real Voices' to the swift tempo change in 'Stay to the Right'.
Sound-wise, Ruining It For Everybody carries much more weight; for instance: the production is a hundred times better than It's All Happening, each song is fleshed out individually gaining their own identity, which keeps them fresh. Also RIFE actually seems to have more raw emotion and fun put into it, which shines through in the songs, for example: Karate Nipples, Break It Down Camacho, Button It Up & Deodorant Can't Fix Ugly. The album is heavier and more melodic benefiting IWABO, as it improves the quality of the music by a milestone.
Overall, Ruining It For Everybody is an excellent album, surpassing their debut in every way and then topping it off with a cherry on top. From the vocals to the instrumentation, there is something for any metal or 'core' fan, it may take some time to get used to but it is definitely worth a try. Even if you don't like Iwrestledabearonce, you cannot deny they're a talented bunch of schizophrenic musicians that continue to push musical boundaries.