Iwrestledabearonce
Late for Nothing


3.0
good

Review

by Robert Davis CONTRIBUTOR (152 Reviews)
August 6th, 2013 | 19 replies


Release Date: 08/06/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A new vocalist means mixed results for Iwrestledabearonce's latest album, but at least the band's songs seem more focused than ever before. This time, they aren't quite "ruining it for everybody".

Whilst they haven’t exactly been the easiest of bands to pigeonhole into one particular genre, there’s no doubt that Iwrestledabearonce have had quite a bit of success in the last few years. Touring with the likes of TDEP and August burns red have solidified the band’s reputation as the musical equivalent of a self-harming schizophrenic, but there’s really one big problem that has marred their future from becoming ever brighter. As with other bands who do the exact same thing, Iwrestledabearonce have tried, tested and failed when experimenting with every genre under the sun and it seems that none but the most devoted fans of the band are actually taking them seriously. Even when guitarist Steven Bradley “admitted” that the band’s second album would be “90% black metal” (the record being anything but), nobody really took any notice until the band’s appearance at the Warped tour last year.

However, a lot has changed for the band recently, and this is strongly evident on their latest album, “Late for nothing”. Given that singer Krysta Cameron was announced to be pregnant at Warped tour last year, it was clear that a replacement was instantly needed and none other than a rather unknown Courtney LaPlante stepped in to take up the official duties, herself coincidentally being a “good friend” of Cameron. LaPlante’s vocal style, whilst not that different to Cameron’s, does seem to pack quite a punch when screaming through a multitude of frantic sounds. The harshness of her vocals do play quite a vital part in songs such as ‘Thunder chunky’, ‘Letters to Stallone’ and ‘I’d buy that for a dollar’, yet when harmonizing with vocals of a cleaner, more audible nature, the quality of the songs are lowered a bit. It’s not that her harsh vocals are considerably stronger in comparison, it’s just that when singing cleanly, LaPlante often sounds like she’s getting bored of herself too quickly. Take ‘Firebees’ for example, a song that consists of some rather average metalcore and a far too polished production. LaPlante, evidently having a nice vocal range to suit whichever mood is produced by the instrumentation, does try hard to convey contrasting emotions with her voice, yet it just comes across as too shaky a voice to be called comfortable listening. A few songs-most notably the ballad-like intensity of ‘Mind the gap’ and short but sweet ‘Snake charmer’-do benefit from LaPlante’s sometimes luscious voice, but you'll quickly wonder whether the band are better off being completely instrumental than with a singer of so-so vocal performances.

The one thing about “Late for nothing” that will make skeptics turn their heads is perhaps the more simplistic song structures, which this time round have more of a sense of direction than ever before. Yes, a few of the songs do appear to bear the same problems of the band’s past (‘Carnage asada’ features an instrumental contribution from none other than Steve Vai, but the song goes absolutely nowhere and results in an unhealthy musical mess), but one listen to the melodic introductions of opener ‘Thunder chunky’ and a more experimental ‘Firebees’ and you’ll notice the band have matured more in recent times. Perhaps the most prominent instrument of the album is the guitars, which chug along furiously on songs such as ‘That’s a horse of a different color’ but then take on more experimental sounds for better results on ‘Snake charmer’ and ‘Inside job’, concluding in a much better and more beautiful culmination of manic rhythms and frantic atmospheres. The drum and bass work isn't particularly anything special, given that most of the focus seems to be on the guitars, but the electronica influences floating around in the background of ‘Boat paddle’ and ‘Firebees’ do benefit from having a greater sense of variation.

Whilst Iwrestledabearonce’s latest album is far from being perfect, the changes in structure and sound do prove quite advantageous. “Late for nothing” could do without songs as useless as ‘Carnage asada’ and ‘I’d buy that for a dollar’, but for the most part what the band have achieved here is a greater sense of direction and a much more serious take on musical experimentation. Perhaps you’ll still be thinking of them skeptically as a band that just can’t settle on one particular genre, but on this evidence, it appears that Iwrestledabearonce still have a few surprises left in them.



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user ratings (68)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
Jaime Silva (3.5)
iwrestledabearonce's third LP is easily the most accessible, entertaining, and memorable album the b...


Comments:Add a Comment 
linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2013


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Originally posted here:

http://meltingalbumreviews.com/2013/08/06/iwrestledabearonce-late-for-nothing/

Recommendations:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwXEdqs1BUk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7EJd23f9Wc

SharkEthic
August 6th 2013


583 Comments


wish this band would have just released Tastes Like Kevin Bacon, dropped the mic, raised a couple of
freedom rockets and moon walked out of existence

not gonna listen to this

Digging: Single Mothers - Negative Qualities

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2013


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Personally I don't blame you for not listening to this. They've released a lot of shit before this album that would make anyone turn their heads away. Still, "Late for nothing" is decent enough not to be, well, as shit.

YankeeDudel
August 6th 2013


9313 Comments


underrated overlooked gem

Digging: The The - Soul Mining

SitarHero
August 6th 2013


4698 Comments


Awwww yeah! Time to get my objectivity rating up!

Durrzo
August 6th 2013


1112 Comments


Her singing voice is good but she's missing something, the notes she hits lack impact most of the time. Instrumentals are less spastic and obnoxious than before which I approve of. Her screams turn me off pretty heavily though, I've never been a fan of female harsh vocals.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2013


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I agree with you there. It just seems like there's more emotion when she screams than when she's singing cleanly. Still, it's early days given that LaPlante's not been with the band for long.

bloc
August 6th 2013


34919 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Definitely their best album

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
August 6th 2013


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Definitely their best album"

Very true.

Nifkin
August 15th 2013


90 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I never understood why everyone shits on this band. I think its just become trendy to hate on them for whatever reason. This is hands down their best album and deserves at least a 3.5.

jrowa001
August 15th 2013


8750 Comments


definitely can get into this a little more than their other stuff. not sure if it is because it is less sloppy or the cleans are better

voiceofresistance
August 25th 2013


53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Courtneys clean vocals on It Dont Make Me No Nevermind are really good. def the best song on this album.

voiceofresistance
August 25th 2013


53 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is the type of album people wont appreciate for 2 or 3 years

XfingTheSullen
November 10th 2013


2711 Comments


I listened to boat paddle and I agree that the new chick's voice is kinda weird, not a very pleasant voice. her growls are better though. oh, and they still make the best music videos ever.

Digging: Scar Symmetry - The Singularity (Phase 1 ? Neohumanity)

Pitchick7
January 12th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really not sure why i just spent the time and energy to make a profile so I could comment here, I've never even heard of this
website. I found it during a Google search. I adore this record and cannot stop listening to it. Though I agree somewhat with the
critique of Courtney's voice, this review is way too hard on the album and the band, and is a perfect example of why one should
never trust what other people say about music. Carnage Asada and I'd Buy That For a Dollar are 2 of the best songs on the album
IMO. Keep in mind, I was not an Iwrestledabearonce fan before this. In fact, I didn't like them at all. I didn't even like female metal
vocals. Courtney and this album are what changed my mind about both. Don't even get me started on her stage presence and
performance. The girl is a beast. A hot one. I agree with Nifkin, album deserves at least a 3.5. It's a 4 for me.

linguist2011
Contributing Reviewer
January 12th 2014


1896 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I have yet to see this band perform live, but I've no doubt they're more eccentric on stage than on record. Thanks for your thoughts on the review, though I personally can't see why you thought it was so 'hard' on the band and album. This album for me came across as a vast improvement on the last two albums, and I think this is where their sound is beginning to fully mature and be consistent. Maybe their next album will be even better.

ASnideReturns
March 6th 2014


5241 Comments


Album's a giant bag of meh.

Digging: Avenged Sevenfold - Nightmare

MotokoKusanagi
March 6th 2014


505 Comments


pleasantly surprised i never heard about this being released

Digging: Mogwai - Young Team

XfingTheSullen
March 8th 2014


2711 Comments


Pitchick7, you're sounding like a paid shill or something.



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