Iwrestledabearonce – It’s All Happening

2q1w3ntjpgArtist: Iwrestledabearonce
Album: It’s All Happening
Genre: Grindcore
Label: Century Media

It’s finally here! The full length and label debut for Iwrestledabearonce! After a whirlwind year that took them from making records in their bedrooms to around the country, a record deal, and a captivating set at SxSW 2009, the band is beyond prepare to unleash the destructive, It’s All Happening next week. Take heed readers, you don’t want to miss the boat on this band.

I don’t know if another grindcore act can have an opening track that’s as amazing as, “You Ain’t No Family.” Every element of the act is displayed here and some with new flares for old listeners. For starters, the addition of a real drummer and a solid production budget makes everything sound so much better. The band is chaotic yet cohesive and the eye to this hurricane of sound revolves around vocalist, Krysta. She dances the line between brutality and angelic melody so well most probably think it’s two separate people. The band, on this track and others, adds interludes to really bring your attention fully on them. “Family” contains a near Western styled interlude, while tracks like, “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon” have more techno based moments that catch you off guard. I know that it’s common place these days to have techno/synth laced tracks, but it’s so subtle with IWABO that you feel it’s been commonplace in the scene for years.

For those of you unaccepting of the techno feel, don’t fret, there is plenty of straight heavy to be had. “Danger In The Manger” is almost entirely a breakdown with some jazz injections and aslight synth beat near the back half. Also, “Eli Cash and The Savages,” as well as the epic closer, “See You In Shell” simply devastate every listener they reach. The band has never sounded so tight and the switch from grind to breakdowns or jazz interludes is flawless. Nothing sounds forced, but rather natural progression fully realized.

Personally, I think there is a lot to be said for the two softer tracks on the record. “White Water in The Morning” and “Black-Eyed Bush” show the true power of Krysta’s voice while allowing the band to show their expansive skill even more than normal. They’re known for the quick chaotic riffs, but here they slow down and you get a much more in depth sound that’s nothing short of engulfing.

I don’t know if there is a more fitting title for Iwrestledabearonce’s debut than It’s All Happening because on this record, that’s exactly what is taking place. Nearly every genre of music is in somewhere represented here in a sheer tornado of sound and emotion. It’s captivating and near journey like as you traverse the tracks. By the end you feel better for having listened and are excited to do so many times more. This may very well be THE heavy release of 2009.

Score: 9/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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