Review Summary: iwrestledabearonce's third LP is easily the most accessible, entertaining, and memorable album the band has put out.
Iwrestledabearonce are a tough band to classify. Their music is eclectic, chaotic, and can often times be very catchy. However I do have mixed feelings about the band's two previous albums. There are some really strong songs on their debut but it's bogged down by some less than stellar tracks that make that album as a whole feel fairly boring and hard to finish; while their second album only had one or two songs that I actually enjoyed with the rest being unentertaining garbage. Late for Nothing is the band's third full length release and their first LP with vocalist Courtney LaPlante.
Late for Nothing is easily the band's most coherent record to date. This album sees the band beginning to shed its grind-influenced insanity, instead focusing more on the metalcore elements of their music. The album is rife with breakdowns and harsh vocals but contrasts them nicely against the clean vocals, addicting hooks, and light electronic elements. The album feels less heavy and more accessible than its predecessors and it seems to lack the sudden genre changes of the band's past. Instead the album opts to be more melodic and consistent in style.
Courtney's voice compliments the changes to the band's style quite nicely. Her clean vocals are admirably pleasant. Also there's just something about her voice that I find more enjoyable than Krysta's even though I think that Krysta has a much better singing voice overall. Courtney's harsh vocals, however, are honestly one of the worst aspects of the album. It seems like her screams were funneled through a cup or something and they come off feeling incredibly uninteresting and tedious. Overall though I believe that if Courtney improves her harsh vocals and adds a bit more variation to her singing voice that she can become one of the best female vocalists in the genre.
As a whole, Late for Nothing sees iwrestledabearonce improving almost every aspect of their sound to create one of the most enjoyable metalcore releases of last year. The hooks are great, the majority of the breakdowns are headbang worthy, the riffs are catchy, and the songs as a whole feel more memorable. While it's definitely not an album that will change anyone's mind about the metalcore genre as a whole, Late for Nothing does prove that becoming more accessible isn't always a bad thing and in some cases can lead to a band progressing into new territory that will benefit them in the long run.
Mind the Gap