I’m gonna let you all know that I did not go into this review open minded. I expected to hear a bunch of electronica-core weirdness that I am just not into. I expected shitty breakdowns and annoying vocals. I expected to instantly hate this album. Well, I was wrong because I don’t exactly hate this album. I have never liked anything that Iwrestledabearonce have done in the past and I never thought I would enjoy a song by them, let alone a record. Well, I suppose things change.
This album kicks off with the humorously-titled “Thunder Chunky,” which won me over instantly on the name alone. When the music starts, it’s odd electronica, but within a few seconds, the guitars come in and completely reshape the track. When Courtney LaPlante starts singing, I am taken aback. Her screams aren’t nearly as annoying as I though and I think her clean vocals are beautiful. This track has some very intense riffing and that is what really won me over. This is a great way to kick off an album, I have to admit.
The next few tracks show the band continuing their experimentation. “Letters To Stallone” also opens up with an electronica intro before exploding into something extraordinary. “Snake Charmer” has become one of my favorite tracks on this album for the simple fact that it opens up with a fantastic riff right out of the box and expands into a killer song almost instantly. That riffing along with Courtney’s vocals really create an atmosphere that is hard to overcome.
“Firebees” is an epic riff-fest with more of that odd electronica that I don’t seem to mind. The breakdown in this song is pretty rad and all around, this song is pretty great. The next track that honestly stands out more than most is “Carnage Asada” which features a guest spot from legendary guitarist Steve Vai. The opening solo in mind-expanding and it doesn’t quit! Even with the thundering breakdowns throughout, this riff is spectacularly crafted and expertly executed. It’s a beautiful thing.
Throughout this album, the most prominent electronica comes in at the beginning of “That’s A Horse of a Different Color.” Once that section is over, the breakdowns ensue and they sound great. Courtney uses a lot more clean vocals on this one than on previous tracks and I really dig that. “I’d Buy That For a Dollar” is instantly a spastic bombardment of weird and wacky riffing and I love it.
The albums final track, “It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind,” opens up with an epic intro of driving, perfectly choreographed riffs. The mid-song breakdown really set this off for me, as it was accompanied by LaPlante’s amazing clean vocals. As much as I didn’t believe I’d ever say it, IWABO has really matured, both as musicians and as songwriters. This album is proof to that statement. Good work.
- Rating: A+
Favorite track: “Snake Charmer,” “It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind”