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Number Twelve Looks Like You, The - Mongrel Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 7.25
Musicianship 9
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7.25
Reviewer Tilt 7.75
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 9.29
Musicianship 9.75
Lyrics 9.06
Production 9.48
Creativity 9.65
Lasting Value 9.25
Reviewer Tilt 9.83
Average: 95%

Number Twelve Looks Like You, The - Mongrel

Reviewed by: Tom Good (07/14/07)
The Number Twelve Looks Like YouMongrel
Release Date: June 19th, 2007
Record Label: Eyeball Records


Ever since their previous LP Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear., The Number Twelve Looks Like You has dominated the harder edge of the New Jersey scene and become a big seller for the label that seems to jump start careers, Eyeball Records. Although loved by many who enjoy the aggressive side of music, the band has also garnered just as much criticism by people who don’t consider the spazzy nature and unnatural song structure actual music. Consequently, The Number Twelve Looks Like You are feeding more fuel to the fire with their latest (and most polished) release to date, which will be loved by fans, but leave that other group scratching their heads even harder.

The most noticeable jump from Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear. Is in the area of production. The new powerful style is how all of the band’s previous work should sound. The drums are crisp, the vocals are clearer than ever, and no instrument gets lost in the cacophony. I had always wondered how much better this band could sound with the proper production, and in execution, it really adds a lot to the music. The previously attempted complexity can now be fully appreciated, with every subtle nuance being captured expertly by Casey Bates (Fear Before The March of Flames, Gatsby’s American Dream). Aside from the obvious leap, the music remains mostly the same, and if you have enjoyed the band’s past work, then Mongrel will appear to be a natural progression stylistically. The above mentioned song structure is as complex as ever. The band rarely stays in a normal time signature, and if they do, the section only lasts a short time until it quickly morphs into another blazing wall of sound and screams. The technical proficiency of The Number Twelve Looks Like You is completely evident throughout, and after one listen to Mongrel, no one can deny that this band can shred. The real question lies in whether there is any method behind all of the madness. There is no doubt that the band has meticulously crafted every single detail down to the most precise specifications, but whether many people will “get it” is another issue. The songs are evolving all of the time, so if you get used to a hook that you really enjoy, it will be gone within a matter of seconds as the song takes an unexpected turn. Mongrel is not for fans of the straight forward. Even if the grind-core style is up your alley, parts can sound a little too disjointed for their own good when taken in the context of an entire 37-minute album. By the end, exhaustion had set in, but not enough to keep me from restarting for a second listen.

As previously mentioned, the instruments have been taken to the next level. The drums are simply unbelievable. Slower sections show taste while the subsequent section drummer Jon Karel comes out guns blazing with blast beats aplenty. I can just picture the tracking process and how long it must have taken to lay down the drums and guitars for Mongrel, the headaches must have been severe. In the end, it was worth it. Songs like “Jay Walking Backwards” and “Grandfather” are hardcore epics. Both pieces contain excellent tangents that utilize completely different styles of music, from funk to classical. Both tracks also display a great ear for melodic sections, which the band pull of surprisingly well. Sections contain some downright pretty guitar riffs. Some might find Mongrel jumps around too much, but if you are in the mood for the unexpected, then this will be right up your alley. If it were possible to sound coherent yet completely random at the same time, Mongrel would be a prime example of how this would sound.

With all of the good, Mongrel still hasn’t fixed my major qualm with the band’s past releases: the death metal vocals. While the screams have taken a much-improved route, the low death metal growls still sound out of place when mixed with the high-pitched screams that work so well here. Although the low screams have certainly been toned down, their presence still manages to stick out more than it should. This is a slight flaw that can be glanced over because there is so much else going on that is good to draw the attention away. Like any good album, Mongrel will take some time to get used to. This is not an album you are going to “get” from one listen. In fact, many will immediately (and rightly) dismiss it due to the genre alone. It is a bit disjointed at times for those not keen to the progressive hardcore style and, much like The Locust, the vocals are either hit or miss. There is little middle ground with The Number Twelve Looks Like You. If, however, you enjoy the band’s past work, or are looking for something harder that retains excellent musicianship, Mongrel will surely satisfy.

Tracklisting1. 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
Listen to The Number Twelve Looks Like YouMyspace | Purevolume | Eyeball Records Site
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 49
09:17 AM on 07/14/07
#2
DangerousDarrin
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Very much agree. I love the CD after a few listens. I love the technicality of it.
09:26 AM on 07/14/07
#3
ACA
Next Show: Braid/GreatBigPileLeaves
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I'm glad this is reviewed by someone who enjoys this style of music and doesn't just write it off as "Screaming shit"
09:33 AM on 07/14/07
#4
-Aaron-
^_^
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I was pleasantly surprised by this cd. I haven't really liked them since the earlier works and this is actually pretty good.
09:42 AM on 07/14/07
#5
Esrb99
The Pertinacious Papist
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this is in my top ten I think so far...

some of the arrangements and catchiness of some of the guitar's licks are great.
09:46 AM on 07/14/07
#6
Greg.Kushlan
Ghostbusting makes me feel good
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At first I was dissapointed by it, but then I gave it another listen or two and liked it alot.
10:05 AM on 07/14/07
#7
prozoc
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The original LP is titled Nuclear. Sad. Nuclear. Otherwise, great review. I'll probably check this album out.
10:13 AM on 07/14/07
#8
TBSEmoKid
...Is not really emo.
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I am trying so hard to like this,the music is phenomenal...But as I'm listening to it,the vocals make me think I wasted ten bucks,and that's sad,because I'm usually a fan of the hardcore genre vocal wise.
10:32 AM on 07/14/07
#9
a hybrid
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the album is great and bates definitely did do a go job in producing it. i havent seen the number twelve live in years so i hope to catch them playing these new songs soon.
10:51 AM on 07/14/07
Danny Schme
Scattered ashes
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Jay Walking Backwards is so amazing. I have the opposite opinion and thought the low screams should have been added a little more
11:00 AM on 07/14/07
Gringolingo
Lobster
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Awesome album, definitely one of the year's best.
11:39 AM on 07/14/07
kaityangst
still not quite the way it was
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great review. excellent album.
11:42 AM on 07/14/07
WeltallAY
Je suis l'Alpha et l'Oméga
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#12 have been one of my favorites for a couple of years now. Mongrel is pretty good from what I've heard so far but I'm unsure of the production. It seems as with each release the overall sound seems much more toned down. I remember the An Inch... EP hitting extremely hard - you could feel every bass drum hit and the vocals were shrill and chaotic. Like Norma Jean's Redeemer this seems to be a small step down - not all bad but not as sweet as they once were.

Also I second that the lower screams need to be here in full effect.
11:45 AM on 07/14/07
Danny Schme
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#12 have been one of my favorites for a couple of years now. Mongrel is pretty good from what I've heard so far but I'm unsure of the production. It seems as with each release the overall sound seems much more toned down. I remember the An Inch... EP hitting extremely hard - you could feel every bass drum hit and the vocals were shrill and chaotic. Like Norma Jean's Redeemer this seems to be a small step down - not all bad but not as sweet as they once were.

Also I second that the lower screams need to be here in full effect.


atta boy. But I'd have to say that Nuclear sounded very very weak. first 2 EPs hit very hard though.
11:59 AM on 07/14/07
InaGreendase
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I think the silly death metal vocal crap is what's preventing me from getting into this band.
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