The Number Twelve Looks Like You

Worse Than Alone

Written by: PP on 10/04/2009 13:16:53

The Number Twelve Looks Like You's new album "Worse Than Alone" has been one of the more interesting releases I've been plowing through as of late. They've put together a crazy cocktail of genres ranging from jazz, mathcore, grindcore and experimental metal, borrowing influences from bands as different as Fear Before, Between The Buried And Me, Heavy Heavy Low Low, and even The Fall Of Troy. Strange combination on paper, I know, but the way little bits and pieces from each band's territory are integrated seamlessly into the general (but thought-out) chaos that is "Worse Than Alone" is commendable at the very least, genius at the very best.

Whilst Heavy Heavy Low Low is a flat-out screamfest with focus on sounding as br00tal and chaotic as possible, and The Dillinger Escape Plan trusts on unearthly mathematical precision in their constant time-signature changes, the aim on "Worse Than Alone" is to craft a much more varied expression. Yeah, the band stays true to mathcore's precise instrumentation and crazy tempo-changes. There are lots of scream/growl passages that belong to chaos-hardcore or even grindcore, too, and there's enough br00tality for an entire nation here as well. But Number 12 have realized that there's nothing wrong with throwing a few quiet jazz-passages to precede the chaotic moments, a tribal drum-solo to close off a song, or even singalongable clean bits (blasphemy!!) into the mix.

Take "Marvin's Jungle", for instance, which starts with a short Ephel Duath-esque jazz passage, before it's back to the technical precision of mathcore and a sheer will to portray destruction through instrumental prowess. Strangely enough, the song finishes in a minute of singalongable clean vocals on top of an instrumental platform that could've easily been on the latest The Fall Of Troy album. Similarly, the clean passage in the jazz-filled "The Garden's All Nighters" sounds precisely like Thomas Erak himself was behind the microphone. "The League Of Endagered Oddities" starts with a Latin-style all-acoustic interlude (think The Mars Volta) and some distant tribal drumming, before some tremolo shredding that sounds like it could've been on the latest Fear Before album.

There will inevitably be some who won't understand this release, and will call it just meaningless noise and a chaotic mix of way too many genres. For those of you I can only say that you're missing out. The rest of people--those who will have the patience to repeat listen the record through more than just a good couple of times--will discover that "Worse Than Alone" is a huge grower of an album. Maybe it's nowhere near the progressive perfection of Between The Buried And Me nor as straight-forward and accessible in its experimentation as The Fall Of Troy, but it's a nice one-up from Heavy Heavy Low Low's chaos-mathcore into a more varied expression. Good job, 'wonderful experimentalism' is how to sum up this album nicely.


Download: Marvin's Jungle, Glory Kingdom, To Catch A Tiger...
For the fans of: Between The Buried And Me, The Fall Of Troy, Fear Before, Heavy Heavy Low Low, The Dillinger Escape Plan
Listen: Myspace

Release date 10.03.2009
Eyeball Records

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