iwrestledabearonce - Late For Nothingiwrestledabearonce

Late For Nothing

01. Thunder Chunky
02. Letters To Stallone
03. Snake Charmer
04. Boat Paddle
05. Firebees
06. Mind The Gap
07. Carnage Asada
08. The Map
09. That’s A Horse Of A Different Color
10. I’d Buy That For A Dollar
11. Inside Job
12. It Don’t Make Me No Nevermind

[Century Media Records]

Iwrestledabearonce have been dividing the metal community for years. On one side, you have the fans — the ones who will defend the bands every move and talk nothing but positive things about their music. Then, you have the other side of the coin, where those denounce the band, calling them generic, or gimmicky. Their first two records ultimately didn’t help, as many metal fans today are still either for or against the band. Regardless of where you stand, it’s easy to see that the band have matured a lot since their inception, at least musically. Would this maturation be enough to sway those naysayers with their third studio album Late For Nothing, or would these two camps remain divided by a thick black line?

The album is definitely better than their previous two. Whereas on their first record we got all of the experimental craziness in songs such as ‘Tastes Like Kevin Bacon’ and on the second, a taste of the more “mainstream” aspect of things, this record ultimately finds the perfect balance between them both. ‘Mind The Gap’ is a great example of how well new frontwoman Courtney LaPlante can sing, and ‘Firebees’ is a great example of how well she can also scream. However, the album’s highlight is the track ‘Carnage Asada’, not only for the cameo by Steve Vai, but also because it’s super catchy, especially the solo section, where the band goes into a salsa groove while Vai does his thing. Of course, once again, these song titles make absolutely no sense and have nothing to do with the tracks, save for ‘The Map’ where lyrics reference maps and not getting lost. Sometimes it would have been nice to abandon the funny song titles and go for something more serious, but then again, that’s part of the charm, isn’t it?

The band also got better at writing actual songs, and it shows on each and every track. They’re all well-planned and well executed, and actually go somewhere, as opposed to just being crazy for the sake of being crazy. It’s a refreshing change, because this band has so much potential to be great, and they’re starting to get closer and closer to attaining this potential. It seems as though the band have finally reached that point in their minds where they went, “Okay, we know what we do well, so let’s keep doing it.” The balance between clean and screamed vocals is ideal on this release; not too much of either one, and both fit in well within the songs.

There are some critiques with this record, however, most notably being the lack of bass in the mix. Personally, hearing a bass be defined in a mix, regardless of genre, is important, and they really seemed to turn it down in this mix, which is a shame, because their bassist is very gifted and deserves to be heard more. Also, at times, Courtney’s vocals could have been more defined, more understandable. This could either have been due to her vocal mix or of how she performed the parts, but at any rate, she deserves to be heard more clearly, especially considering that she fronts this band. Hopefully this won’t translate to their live shows, because those are always fun to watch, and were always well executed.

Overall, Late For Nothing is a step in the right direction for IWABO. It’s everything the band could and should have been from the start, and raises hope for the future that they’ll continue on this uphill climb and ultimately reach the pinnacle of their potential come next record. Criticisms aside, this is a super fun and energetic record that’s also extremely catchy, and if you’re a fan of metal, you should at least give this record a chance, because this may be the record that changes your mind about the band.

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