iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening
Century Media
Experimental Deathcore, Avant-Garde
10 songs (33:20)
Release year: 2009
Century Media
Reviewed by Goat

Making sense of American newcomers iwrestledabearonce’s debut album, cutely titled It’s All Happening, is one of those tasks that only a very specific audience will bother attempting. Take Evanescence and Fantômas, put them in a blender adding a large dose of Deathcore, and you get something akin to this, that diabolically goes out of its way to experiment. Of course, experiments don’t always work, and whilst some of the wacky interludes in the course of this album do have the required effect for a second or two, others just make you wonder why the band bothered. The frequent dips into electronica could safely have been halved in number, for example, iwrestledabearonce clearly needing a bit more practise in the songwriting department before their ‘everything and the kitchen sink’ approach truly works; but I suspect the band’s target audience will not be as concerned about this as I am. Sorry to sound rigid and elitist, but those buried deep in the Deathcore scene are probably crying out for something original, and this is what iwrestledabearonce offer to those tired of the same old same old – a smorgasbord of random sounds, cobbled together with typical Deathcore, repeated, cut into ten tracks and then sold to the eager.

Of course, as I mentioned in the opening sentence of this review, this specific audience are the ones who will appreciate this the most. The rest of us, eye-rollingly listening to the spazzcore opening of the likes of Eli Cash vs The Godless Savages will hear the same mildly leftfield Deathcore that has caught our attention over the year or so the genre has been a la mode. Nearly everything about this band seems of the current fashion – the haircuts, the gleefully childish horse neighing in breakdowns, the female singer (as one of our resident beloved Scottish forumites remarked, Krysta Cameron’s gender is sure to make your typical wee ‘alternative’ fanny enjoy the band more, in the misplaced idealism that female vocalists are an automatic improvement for any type of music). Yet It’s All Happening is not a love/hate album, much as the forum response to this review will attempt to disprove that. There are little moments here and there which suggest a bit more refinement and – whisper it – maturity in the songwriting will make them an act to reckon with. The band are undeniably technically-skilled, Krysta has a great singing voice... taking more Prog influence rather than Avant-Garde, expanding the Jazz elements on You Ain’t No Family, cutting down on the silliness, all things that would overcome iwrestledabearonce’s inherent daftness and make them into a band to be proud of.

As of the moment, however, they’re just another novelty act, emerging from the shapeless void of fashionable metalcore to offer something apparently different to those desperately grasping for originality who have not yet discovered the big wonderful world of ‘proper’ Metal. We’ll be here when you need us, guys. In the meantime, fans of Between The Buried And Me and Psyopus will doubtless eat this up and keep it on the playlist for the month or so that it takes for another band to get some internet stardom with their ‘original and refreshing’ take on the Deathcore genre. And the beat goes on.

Killing Songs :
Not one, although it has the odd pleasing moment
Goat quoted 58 / 100
Other albums by iwrestledabearonce that we have reviewed:
iwrestledabearonce - Late For Nothing reviewed by Aleksie and quoted 60 / 100
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