Krysta Cameron’s vocals are the anchor of iwrestledabearonce’s sound and, well suited to their avant-garde style, range from sweet to spastic. Banshee-like shrieks and thick, grunting growls perforate the album’s auditory landscape, and her syrupy crooning smoothes it out. She’s a versatile and wildly energetic frontwoman, and her talent and personality are two of my favourite things about this band.
What sets Ruining It For Everybody apart from iwrestledabearonce’s first album, It’s All Happening, is the quality of the songwriting. The album coarsely mixes metalcore, electronica, grindcore, swing and experimental metal with even greater nimbleness. The heavier passages are more intense than anything they’ve done previously, most notably “It Is ‘Bro’ Isn’t It?,” the lounge passages are smoother and the deliberate fractures are even more jarring.
They’ve taken everything that defined them and become more adept at those techniques, deploying them with greater intelligence and skill. That said, none one the individual songs are particularly memorable or fully distinct from each other, resulting in an album full of clever gear switches that lacks an overall structure.
iwrestledabearonce have some serious competition when it comes to being the strangest kids on the block. While they have much going for them, they don’t touch the transcendental alienation of Mr. Bungle or the organic, multi-faceted complexity of Unexpect, and are still plagued by a lack of cohesion. iwrestledabearonce are, however, continuing to grow and press forward.
(released July 26, 2011 on Century Media Records)