Iwrestledabearonce – Late For Nothing

IWRESTLEDABEARONCE_lateTrying to put Iwrestledabearonce into a neat little genre box is almost as futile as attempting to fight against its awesome power. Typically brash and abrasive, Shreveport, LA’s noisiest output have retained their grizzly crown on third album, Late For Nothing (Century Media).

Since 2009 debut and kitchen sink-cacophony It’s all happening, the ridiculously named Iwrestledabearonce have been melding the ferocious power of The Dillinger Escape Plan, the groove of Pantera and the what-the-hell-is-this? fervent glee of Mike Patton’s more experimental guise. Late For Nothing boasts the fine pipes of new lead singer Courtney LaPlante; it’s quite a jolt to the system as LaPlante’s clean vocals carry more weight than predecessor Krysta Cameron’s, dispensing with the overtly sweet pop pitch which becomes startling apparent on flitting, crushing opener ‘Thunder Chunky’.

Throughout the 13-track assault, some monstrously heavy guitars are immediately offset by unsettling electronic atmospherics and LaPlante’s soothing voice which floats above her more aggressive, raspy tones. Like in ‘Firebees’, just as you feel lulled into the soft rhythms of LaPlante’s voice the beauty is shattered by her forceful screams. ‘Mind The Gap’ is the closest Iwrestledabearonce ever come to a record label-sating single with its easy going riffs and approachable vocals. But no sooner than taking a supposed breather, they crank out ‘Carnage Asada’ immediately after and the second half of the album explodes in a mushroom cloud of deep, throaty screams and brilliantly tricky guitar widdling.

For a band whose name reflects the carnage contained within it was always going to be a struggle to harness the madness. After improving in leaps and bounds on each album having a new lead singer only added to the challenge of upping their game.  With Late For Nothing Iwrestledabearonce are winning the fight.

9/10

Dan Bond

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