The Number Twelve Looks Like You – Mongrel

 Mathcore; 2007

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I love this band. They just recently broke up but they were truly great. It’s all so fast, so crazy. Experimental, like all Mathcore, but there is so much more melody in their music. They aren’t JUST a display of virtuosity and speed on all instruments. They’re too musical for that. “Experimental” recently has come to be defined more by unique rhythms, and the actual tonal parts of most experimental bands amount to atonal clusters. And while I really love a lot of that stuff, 12 is refreshing in their Latin music-inspired interludes, and their sensible chord structures. Still, their line up includes Jon Karel, as underrated as any drummer since Zach Hill, he’s as musical as Stewart Copeland, has as much sense of rhythm as Steve Shelton, and has as much speed as Brann Dailor. The vocals may be harsh for some but there’s sections that are sung and talked as well, maybe people will find those more enjoyable. In Jay Walking Backwards, the mandatory “pretty intro” isn’t just a nonsensical part of the song that lessens the unity of the song as a whole, it’s actually an important part of the song, about a third of its length, and it leads into something greater than these things normally do. Grandfathers’ “pretty intro” is a bit more unnecessary. These vocals are actually really good if you have an ear for it. One more great thing about this album, it stays consistently good the entire way through. You may think that El Pinata Del Muerte will be the album’s high point when you hear it but The Weekly Wars is far better and the last song, The Try, has some really interesting 90’s Prog Metal (think Spastic Ink) melodies. I’ll rephrase, this album isn’t just consistent, it starts off at a high point and finds ways to get higher. I highly suggest looking up Jon Karel’s drumming on youtube. Your mind will explode in a good way that doesn’t make you die.

1. Imagine Nation Express
2. El Pinata de la Muerte
3. Jay Walking Backwards
4. Grandfather
5. Alright, I Admit It… It Was a Whore House
6. Paper Weight Pigs
7. Sleeping with the Fishes, See?
8. Cradle in the Crater
9. The Weekly Wars
10. The Try (Thank You)

Stand-out tracks:
The Weekly Wars
The Try (Thank You)
Jay Walking Backwards

-Jerry

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