Released: Aug 6, 2013
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal, Metalcore, Experimental
Label: Century Media
Number Of Tracks: 12
This is the first studio album with the new vocalist, Courtney LaPlante, and she has some big shoes to fill as Krysta Cameron was a master at what she did.
Late for Nothing
UG Team, on august 06, 2013 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: IWABO formed in 2007, naming themselves after a comment made by Gary Busey on his Comedy Central show. They recorded their first EP before they had actually managed to recruit a drummer and were forced to use MIDI triggered drums, but the ensuing attention helped them to both recruit a drummer as well as support a tour. The band was soon signed to Century Media in 2008, which allowed them to get their debut full length release, "It's All Happening," distributed to a larger audience upon its release in 2009. The band, while being labeled various core genres, is actually a very experimental band with unpredictable changes of genre, tempo and style throughout their songs. Their second album, "Ruining It for Everybody," was released in 2011 after an elaborate prank to convince their fans they were changing up their style to be a straightforward black metal band. The album's release showed that they instead continued on with their established style of mixed genres, with an interesting mixture of clean and screamed vocals and unpredictable musical transitions. In 2012, while on tour, Krysta Cameron took a leave from touring due to becoming pregnant and was temporarily replaced by a friend of the band, Courtney LaPlante. It was only later revealed that Krysta would not be returning and Courtney LaPlante would be staying as a permanent member of the band.
"Late for Nothing" is the first album released by IWABO with LaPlante on vocals. There are 12 tracks and the album clocks in at approximately 37 minutes. The album opens with the track "Thunder Chunky" which for the first little passage makes you feel like maybe they really have turned into a much more straightforward band, but by the end of the track you'll find yourself reassured that the band is still as weird as ever. The second track on the album is "Letters to Stallone" which says "I need someone to woo me/ not someone to save me," and also has a neat little syncopated passage near the end of the track. The track "Boat Paddle" starts out with some piano that is very reminiscent of Jethro Tull, but only for a second. The guitars come in with a clean vocal passage, and then the song gets a little crazy with some atonal guitar stuff and some screamed vocals. The track "Mind the Gap" starts out soft, almost like some kind of dream sequence music and the vocals come in clean with the percussion and honestly the song stays tame from beginning to end, but it is kind of growing on me. The track "Carnage Asada" is almost reassuring after hearing "Mind the Gap," with a nice mix of clean and screamed vocals and some weird piano stuff going on with a schizophrenic guitar part in the middle part. The track "That's a Horse of a Different Color" is another fairly tame track, but while there are both screamed and clean vocals, there aren't really any surprises in the track. The album closes out with the track "It Don't Make No Nevermind," which starts out heavy (almost reminding me of Dethklok), but then gets into a little bit of weirdness in the middle area of the track, but only for a moment, and that is how classic IWABO died, not with a bang but a whimper. I didn't hate it, and it grew on me more with subsequent listens, but I hated that this is the direction that IWABO is going. // 7
Lyrics: I have a chip on my shoulder about Krysta leaving the band, but I'm trying to give Courtney LaPlante a fair chance. Her screamed vocals are fine, but her clean vocals is where you'll notice the biggest difference from what Krysta brought to the table. Where Krysta was maybe a little comparable to Bjork with her clean vocals, Courtney LaPlante's clean vocals remind me more of female fronted bands like Nightwish. This isn't a bad thing, it is just different so it took me a few minutes to get on board with it. The lyrics are definitely much more straightforward on a lot of the tracks, but they fit nicely with the music, so I guess that is okay. As a sample of the vocals, here is the opening verse from "Boat Paddle": "I felt the ocean breaking/ Over my head/ I'm spinning/The constant pressure I can't fight/ I may not make it through the night/ The night, the night, the night." The lyrics are pretty decent, but it definitely doesn't compare to "You Know That Ain't Them Dog's Real Voices." // 7
Overall Impression: No disrespect to Courtney LaPlante, but I want Krysta Cameron back! While LaPlante does a good job on the album, Krysta has become such a large part of their sound, especially in how she transitions from the "sing-song" to the heavy vocal passages in the songs. At the end of the day, Courtney handles the screamed vocals well but she can't compare with Krysta's clean vocals. I had read in various places before actually hearing the album that the band's sound had "matured" and was more straightforward now, but they're still spastic and neurotic (if not quite as often and for shorter durations), which is what makes them a really worthwhile band to listen to. The problem comes in as there is a lot less in the way of mixing genres, and when it happens it seems to be with a lot less creativity. I have mixed feelings, and I am going to keep my fingers crossed that Krysta Cameron comes back to the band at some point.