Don’t Open Birthday Presents From iwrestledabearonce

Genre-fusing mathcore specialists (I can’t believe I just wrote those four words either) iwrestledabearonce dropped the first video from their upcoming album, Hail Mary, during the week and it absolutely crushes. Well, the  song. The video, while pretty, is effectively the usual “let’s have the lead singer make funny faces while the band hold a guitar dance-off in the background” clip. But damn. That song.

Even within as bizarre and diverse genre as mathcore, iwrestledabearonce have always been a bit, well, different. Listening to them is a lot like riding in the passenger seat of an F-16 while the pilot is actively trying to make you sick: a furious rush, accompanied by stomach churning lurches as the band switches to hillbilly or jazz for a brief section before returning to tearing the chromatic scale a new one. I’m almost hesitant to label what  they do as genre-fusion, as sometimes that can feel a bit like calling someone who nails a crab to a platypus a geneticist. But there is no doubting the musical ambition in play here, and from the absolutely ridiculous variations of the opening riff (the one after the fade in) to throwing a part of the  chorus riff into the verse (Around 0:53 in the  video) the creativity is pretty jaw dropping. Said chorus riff is absolutely spectacular, and the mid-song genre shift (To what genre? I have no idea) is creepy in the same way dolls in horror films are creepy, conjuring a sinister and insidious vibe for a few brief seconds before plunging back into the mathcore maelstrom. It’s a real piece of work (the good kind, not the  bad kind) and overall a pretty exciting first glimpse of the album. It may be a little more focused, but this is definitely the handiwork of iwrestledabearonce and I can’t wait to check out the rest of the album when it debuts on June 16th. You can pre-order the album on iTunes here.

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