Written by Carcassbomb
- The Number Twelve Looks Like You
- Wild Gods
- Mathcore/Post Hardcore
- New Jersey, USA
- September 20, 2019
These guys play a variety of music that most metalheads would see on paper and decide it’s not for them, I’m talking screamo and jazz. The Number Twelve have always been on the experimental side of post hardcore and mathcore, which if you ask me, is the only side of these genres – I’ll save you my rant about the origins of post hardcore being rooted in experimentation and then being degregraded by the popularity of a particular handful of bands. They’ve stayed true to that experimentation with this new album, something I was not expecting since I was unsure of the bands status in recent years. I’ve been a fan for well over a decade and am recently stirred up by 2019’s The Callous Daoboys, so I’m more than excited to dig in.
My first impression is that this is the hardcore version of California by Mr Bungle, which would be an incredible premise for an album though you really can’t expect this band to stick to one idea. Each track brings something new and wild. One thing you can count on is a sound I’ve missed a lot, the vocals whether they are super heavy or somewhat clean, are unmistakably rooted in emo. There’s a lot of expression here and huge accentuation with the screaming, hitting some very unique highs that serve as a signature across their records. It hasn’t changed a lot but damn do I enjoy it and it’s been long enough that it feels completely fresh all over again. It’s chaotic, it’s fast and it’s bloody wonderful.
Something that is quite different from all the metal I’ve been listening to is the lack of rhythm guitar. This creates a very different sound that makes the tracks feel like a bunch of little stories driven by one or two narrators at a time. The vocals, guitar and bass all have to do extra lifting and on Wild Gods they manage to always dazzle with their finesse and synergy. The choice in tones and mixing helps a lot, when the spotlight hits an instrument, it fucking shimmers and when they all play together it’s a heavy as fuck fever dream. Even after 18 years of making this style of music The Number Twelve is still managing to put it out as if they are youthful madmen of the genre.
It’s not so different from Worse Than Alone – their previous record which was released way back in 2009 – in that it wouldn’t alienate anyone or disappoint but it does introduce a lot of new vibes. It’s a natural continuation of their ideas, a beautiful evolution that brings some of the old to the new and vise versa. 2020 is the perfect year for it but I also can’t remember the last time I heard anything quite like it. It’s very much its own thing and I can’t bring myself to fault it. I’m a fan boy and I’ve been served.
It swells my heart to hear this new album, in a time where so many of my favorite bands of the genre have done the splits such as Fear Before, Circle Takes The Square, Page Ninety Nine and Dillinger Escape Plan. Horse The Band have been playing shows again but I’m not holding my breath for a new album. The most recent Rolo Tomassi album was incredible, so perhaps a comeback for the style will trickle in over the next couple of years. If you claim to love heavy music but don’t listen to mathcore then you’re a poser ass son of a gun. It’s not too late to get on board though.