Iwrestledabearonce aren’t fond of genres, that’s why they’ve taken ten of them and stuffed them straight into their musical blender; second album ‘Ruining It For Everybody’ is the resulting schizophrenic sonic smoothie. The band move erratically between styles, savage riffs collide with electronic strings and Krysta Cameron’s frankly insane vocal range. It’s the music equivalent of a being slapped on one cheek whilst being kissed on the other.
Rolo Tomassi and Enter Shikari are the obvious comparisons, but that doesn’t adequately explain the madness going on here, one moment a song seems to blazing off on a screaming death metal trail before suddenly twisting into a haunting vocal section. There are elements of jazz, electronica and even pop in here, all bound together by grinding metal riffs and screams. The bizarre breakdowns give the feeling of being lost in a warped fairy tale world, it’s an interesting if quite disorientating experience.
The clean heavily layered production helps makes this as coherent as it can be and the musicianship is technically impressive, drums and riffs taking the wild time changes effortlessly in their stride. Krysta Cameron’s ability to sing as well as scream is showcased on tracks like ‘Break It Down Camancho’ and the beautifully atmospheric ‘This Head Music Makes My Eyes Rain’.
For all it’s impressive playing and experimentation the inherent problem with ‘Ruining It For Everyone’ is who’s going to like it? Dedicated Metalheads may be put off by the melodic sections of clean vocals, while fans of the beautiful pop elements will be running scared as soon as the first grindcore part kicks in. Meanwhile everyone will be left scratching their heads during the Elvis impressions in ‘You Know That Ain’t Them Dog’s Real Voice’.
Open minded music fans searching for a challenging listen may delight in this, while others may be reaching for the off button in less than 30 seconds. It’s definitely not for everyone, but judging from the album title this is something the band takes great pride in, they do exactly as they please and aren’t interested in anyone expectations.
Reviewer: Andrew Ford