Games Meet Metal: Poser or Powerhouse?: Iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening Review

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Poser or Powerhouse?: Iwrestledabearonce - It's All Happening Review

I did not at all want to do this review. I was about to ask Riff if it could be given to someone else simply because the music these guys play was just not at all my style. It was the kind of tripe screamo crap that was bound to stay on the club circuit until the teens grew up and wanted some real music. Then again maybe I'm just holding some weird hostility against Fall Hero Fall, a band of peeps I knew from high school that's played a show with IWABO.... only they're actually pretty decent, and I have no reason to grudge with them so back on topic: Then I gave it a chance, and it turned out to be a mind blowing 5/5 Slaytanic experience... depending on what mood I'm in. I want to warn everyone that despite the fact this is about to be a pretty glowing review, it's a glowing review of something I wouldn't be surprised or offended if someone told me was barely music. There is a LOT of screaming, and a LOT of nonsensical cacophony guitar work typical of bands that are only trying to start mosh pits.

What separates IWABO from those bands is the fact they are good musicians who actually seem to have put plenty work into the abundant 180 shifts in time and style that require some decent chops, and based on their videos are self aware and understand the irony and humor of what they are doing. For instance, the video for "Tastes Like Kevin Bacon" shows them in 80s work out video tights appropriate for the 80s synth pop direction taken in the middle of the song. "You Ain't No Family" involves country towards its end, "Pazuzu for the Win" has a kind of Spanish guitar thing going on about a minute in, "See You in Shell" has a Red Hot Chili Peppers esque funk style in the middle of it and all of these are accompanied by genuinely aggressive screaming and heavy guitars or echo chamber moaning and piano. Those echo chamber bits can get annoying, but for the most part this is pretty high art and enjoyable music perfect for the car, the mosh, or just the iPod.

Overall: IWABO figures that if you're going to be this far outside the mainstream, why not just swim even faster away?If you simply aren't willing to give anything that initially sounds like nails on a chalkboard a chance, I'll understand completely, but I suggest you at least try. After all, you would never have outgrown those Hanson t-shirts if you didn't allow James Hetfield to rape your ear hole out of curiosity now, would you? Trust me, if you can get over the initial curve of "holy shit this is weird", you can experience the "holy shit, this is unique and awesome" part of music like this. Hell, they have really cool traditional metal guitar riffs too. 5/5 Slaytanic.

Pros: Extremely odd music that will confuse, but ultimately thrill you if you give it a chance
Cons: Extremely odd music that will confuse, and ultimately just irritate you if you just can't get into the screaming pile of mess it can sound like

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