0011. iwrestledabearonce – It’s All Happening [2009]

It's_All_Happening_(Iwrestledabearonce_album_-_cover_art)

I don’t have any particularly notable anecdotes with which I could introduce this album.  I just randomly heard about these guys from a friend in college.  I checked them out and was instantly a huge fan.  I thought the name was hilarious, the music was hard and complex, the vocals were absolutely beautiful and absolutely beastly… there really isn’t anything to dislike about this album, in my opinion.

I first listened to these guys when I was living in Arizona with my now ex-girlfriend, Vera.  It was new to both of us, and we both loved the fuck out of them.  We even went to an ice cream party in Los Angeles (after we’d moved there) that the band had to celebrate the release of their follow-up album, Ruining It For Everybody. Vera dressed her son, Loki, in a white t-shirt and smeared it with red stuff to look like blood stains, and wrote the band’s name on the front with a Sharpie marker.  The band loved him.

Anyway, aside from that, I don’t have much else to say about this album.  I hope anyone who listens to it enjoys it.  By the way, I’ve included links behind each picture of each subsequent entry (and this one) to my podcast site where you can listen to each of the albums in their entirety.  I also did that for the official 1,001 Albums blog that I’ll be posting in again soon.

Wikipedia Says:

It’s All Happening is the debut full-length album by Iwrestledabearonce. It was released on June 2, 2009 through Century Media Records.

Background

Iwrestledabearonce wrote and recorded It’s All Happening within the course of 2008 through 2009 upon their signing to Century Media. Upon its release on June 2, 2009, it sold 4,300 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 121 on The Billboard 200 chart. The album landed at position No. 1 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart.[3][4]

On June 29, 2010, the band re-released It’s All Happening as a 3-disc special edition that includes the regular album, a remix album entitled “It’s All Remixed!”, and a DVD.[5] This special edition also includes song stems to allow fans to create their own remixes.

Several songs have titles related to various cartoons. The song title “I’m Cold And There Are Wolves After Me” is a quote from The Simpsons episode “Cape Feare,” the second episode from their fifth season.

Reception

The album generally received mixed to positive reviews. Ultimate Guitar commented by saying “Iwrestledabearonce are one of the strangest yet most unique bands out there today, and It’s All Happening displays their style superbly. There are also random things thrown into songs, whether it’s the famous ‘Dixie’ carhorn from The Dukes of Hazzard or the hillbilly sounding section in ‘You Ain’t No Family’. Besides their obvious random and strange sections, other sections display superior musicianship showing their ability to flawlessly change styles and switch sections.”[11] However, Phil Freeman ofAllmusic commented on the album, stating “The band’s grindcore parts are precise and mechanistic, but indistinguishable from those of 100 or more other bands; it’s only when they leap into an electro-disco interlude, or start going jazz-prog for no reason, that one’s attention is piqued, and even then it’s not necessarily a good thing.”[7]

Track listing

No. Title Length
1. “You Ain’t No Family” 3:46
2. “White Water in the Morning” 3:51
3. “Danger in the Manger” 2:20
4. “I’m Cold and There Are Wolves After Me” 2:59
5. “Tastes Like Kevin Bacon” 3:20
6. “The Cat’s Pajamas” 3:23
7. “Pazuzu for the Win” 4:01
8. “Black-Eyed Bush” 2:28
9. “Eli Cash vs. the Godless Savages” 3:56
10. “See You in Shell” 3:22
Total length:
33:20

Personnel

Iwrestledabearonce
  • Steven Bradley – guitars, keyboards, samples
  • Dave Branch – bass
  • Krysta Cameron – vocals
  • John Ganey – guitars, keyboards, samples
  • Mikey Montgomery – drums, backing vocals
Production
  • Programming by John Ganey and Steven Bradley
  • Artwork by Sons of Nero

Charts

Chart Peak
position
U.S. Billboard 200 122
U.S. Billboard Top Heatseekers 1
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