Sound — 8
The senses never get too comfortable upon hearing any Iwrestledabearonce song, and it's up for debate if that's a satisfying feeling or not. On the Louisiana band's second full length studio record "Ruining It For Everybody", the 11 tracks cover the gamut musically and usually it all happens during the course of one song. Marking an impact as always is perhaps the most versatile vocalist to explode upon to the metal scene, Krysta Cameron. About 75 percent of the time you swear that a 6'5 beast of a man is creating the sounds that Cameron actually utters, and it's precisely that twist that makes "Ruining It For Everybody" so fascinating.
Mixing and meshing a bevy of genres, Iwrestledabearonce does have an amazing ability to sound like everything from Mr. Bungle to Enya to an Atari game. There's one question that could be asked over and over again: Just how do you describe Iwrestledabearonce's music? After listening to the new record, I've got to be honest. I still don't have an apt title for the concepts that the band is delivering. The album starts off with "Next Visible Delicious", which spews for arcade-like synth, eclectic time changes, and robotic/streamlined riffs from duo John Ganey and Steven Bradley. "You Know That Ain't Them Dogs Real Voices" highlights Cameron's awe-inspiring diversity. One moment you hear beautiful, cherubic crooning, and in the next a high-pitched scream. The frantic, spastic arrangements are definitely intriguing, and you have to be at least a little impressed at just how the band was able to pull together such distinct musical sections.
"This Music Makes My Eyes Rain" almost delves into new age, atmospheric territory in moments, while "Stay To The Right" delivers one of the most truly metal arrangements complete with the insane double bass pedal work of drummer Mike Montgomery. "I'm Gonna Shoot" features a unique type of musicality, with the guitar and piano/synth work deserving the term "elegant". Through it all, each band member displays his/her own distinct versatility. Yes, hearing Cameron growl like a diabolic man in one section and then immediately transition into her gorgeous soprano range is certainly a show stealer. In the end, however, each of the five members tends to a musical chameleon.
Lyrics — 8
Although not as frantic in construction, there is an intensity within the lyrical content. The words usually are driven by whichever style Cameron chooses to vocalize. She can easily get a heartfelt thought across by singing something gently like "It's what you've always wanted" ("Button It Up"), but lines like "You go pointing your fingers at me; You burn it in and out of humanity; Now you see those clergy eat better than you and me" are massively effective when Cameron opts to violently scream them. A good chunk can't really be understood upon first listen, but the passion behind Cameron's death growls/screams are hard to ignore.
Overall Impression — 8
If you're shopping around for a metal record with immediately catchy hooks or riffs, you'll need to continue your search. However, if you're looking to be shocked, awed, and slightly unsettled, "Ruining It For Everybody" will supply the goods. Both chaotic and creatively inspired, the new Iwrestledabearonce record will stay in your psyche for awhile.