The Number Twelve Looks Like You
Put on Your Rosy Red Glasses

Holy fucking shit fuck. I know most of you will switch or click off the moment I mention ‘core to start a review, but I swear to you this is some of the best aggro/tech/math/grind core I’ve heard. If you’ve recently been jamming Deadwater Drowning, Animosity, The Glass Casket and The Red Chord, this shit will make your pants tight. Imagine taking all the above bands throwing in a little sprinkle of emo (Thursday, Thrice) and a dash of Gothenberg melo-death, but much like viewing a static screen shot of a video game; my words simply don’t convey the sheer ferocity, emotion and talent that this group of teens have produced.

This short LP/ long EP is only six actual songs with a few interludes, but in those 6 songs this band basically serve notice to the genres reigning champs and massive throng of pretenders that there is a new act in town, and that they are not to be fucked with – even if they look like there are from the 9th grade. The expected chaotic, frenzied jagged chords are present, but are rendered with similar intelligence as Ion Dissonance, and with some suitably screamy emo moments – it makes for a mix that while deftly heavy, has some emotional baggage rather than continual mountainous riffs. At times it sounds like a catfight in a trash can, it’s also shamelessly emotive.

It all starts with the chaotic “Don’t get Blood on my Prada Shoes,” that has usual grind/hardcore lurch and breakdown, lulling the listener into a false sense of familiarity, but as “Jesus & Tori” erupts with haunting emo melodies on top of massive grinding riffs, you just absorb the whole effect in awe. Not nearly as convoluted or mindlessly note heavy as Forever is Forgotten, The Number Twelve’s cleverly placed emo moments arrive amid the carnage of grindcore’s huge bottom end, (both vocally and musically), as well as metalcore’s more expected melodic edge.

As unpredictable as a train wreck, yet as harmonious as birdsong, the Number Twelve are a major Jekyll and Hyde. The bridge from the gigantic riff that ends “Bambi the Hooker & a Case of Beer,” to the delicate passages of “Empty Calm” is one of the most shuddering shifts I’ve ever heard, and it’s pulled off with the class of an act with several albums under tier belt. Just listen to “Civeta Dej,” for a six minute exercise in strenuous binding of musical elements, displaying their melodic side, this track could stand toe to toe with Thursday, Hamartia or With Honor for layered harmonics, but halfway it its transform into a ugly, lumbering, monstrous beast of a song more akin to Cephalic Carnage.

Many vocalists have a scream that carries some emotional weight, but lead singer Jase, while annoying to some, is essentially in fucking agony the whole time, and the hawk-like pitch, while potent, is annoying after a while, luckily he is offset by Justin’s thunderous growls. The vocals are no more prominent than in “If These Bullets Could Talk,” as it has an interlude that has an ear piercing layered screaming section, that while definitely grating, is as painfully rendered as a fight between spouses.

Many of the new wave of extreme hardcore acts are integrating softer moments or acoustics into their chaos, but few of them seem to be the reverse; The Number Twelve seems to be emo with furious grindcore thrown in, it’s like a pit bull thrown into a room of doves. Also the production here has to be mentioned with the huge guitars cranked way up in the mix, and the drums equally as powerful in conveying the orchestrated mayhem. I know this style has become popular, but this New Jersey six piece has me simply stunned with their skill, delivery and conviction. Ion Dissonance may be kings, but these princes bring a willful wide eyed emotive undercurrent with their undulating ferocity. Simply stunning – and this is just an EP.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
October 10th, 2006

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