Release DetailsLABEL Eyeball Records
RELEASED ON 6/19/2007
The Number Twelve Looks Like You
posted on 11/2007 By:
I'm going to get flamed for this one, but here goes....
When Put On Your Rosy Red Glasses first came out back in 2003 the technical hardcore boom was still somewhat new and the way The Number 12 Looks Like You (#12LLY from here forward) added scream-fueled emo to the mix was certainly different; sort of like Dillinger Escape Plan meets Orchid. Despite being a very short disc with quite a bit of filler and a lack of focus, I actually really liked POYRRG for its sheer energy and technical prowess. For Nuclear.Sad.Nuclear I felt the band dumbed down their sound a bit heading in a (yikes!) more Blood Brothers type of direction and the album was produced more like a Thursday record than the heavy production job of the debut. There was an EP thrown in the mix somewhere between that was really a mess (awful lo-fi production, bad covers, etc.), so I honestly expected Mongrel to suck...a lot.
Low expectations are great because they seldom leave you disappointed. Instead of the commercially leaning pile of shit Underoath/Saosin ripoff I figured it to be, Mongrel is actually a very decent record. Granted, based on the style alone there probably aren't going to be a lot of you out there who will give this record a chance, but the open minded few or those who, like me, had written this band off just might be impressed by this disc.
I guess I'll start with the production since that was a major factor in Nuclear.Sad.Nuclear not hitting home with me. The guitars here are heavy, but not all out metal heavy and have quite a bit of midrange clarity that allows all the guitar trickery to be heard. The drums have a lot of power behind them, but aren't mixed as upfront as on POYRRG. The vocals are mixed and recorded in such a way that the high-end screams still have a lot of bite, but they aren't totally in your face. Basically it is somewhere between the metal sound of POYRRG and the more rock sounding N.S.N.
In the musicianship department #12LLY has grown by leaps and bounds. They still operate with a high level of technicality, though they've learned when to push chaos in the listeners face and when to use slightly more traditional and listenable elements. This makes for some really nice dynamics, allowing the tech parts to seem more jarring and the melodic song-based portions to be more effective as well. The actual sound itself hasn't changed a whole lot though. As stated, the band hasn't let up in terms of technicality; they still use their dual high-intensity, high-pitched scream attack laced with guttural bellows; and the band still has very tangible ties to emo, though I will say they have toned it down quite a bit.
All in all, #12LLY has really impressed me with Mongrel. The group secured a recording that works for their sound, improved as musicians, focused on writing better songs rather than just writing tech filler around a few memorable moments, and have even eased up on the emo elements of their sound.
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