20 Watts

Releases of the Week: The Number Twelve Looks Like You & Into The Moat by subsonicd1sc0rd

The Number Twelve Looks Like You, Worse Than Alone”

Before it became cliché to play a progressive form of grindcore, including “mathy” guitar riffs, dominating double-kick drums and tortured shrieks, The Number Twelve Looks Like You were doing it and people weren’t getting it. Now that they are five albums into their career, it’s become a trend to write music sounding like their 2003 debut, Put On Your Rosy Red Glasses. Sorry, imitators… you’ve been left in the dust. These New Jerseyans’ latest, Worse Than Alone, is more powerful and complex than anything they’ve previously done. Don’t believe me? Well, you could listen to the salsa/jazz amalgamation on “The Garden’s All Nighters” or the electronic breakbeats of “Serpentine” and then maybe you’ll understand.

The Number Twelve Looks Like You are not concerned with mixing as many genres as possible; their expansive palette is merely a catalyst to writing songs that make the listener feel something, anything. This freeform style of arrangement is especially apparent on Worse Than Alone, of which the vocal work varies more than a Mike Patton performance. Although Alexis Pareja is now the sole guitarist for the #12, it’s worth noting that the music is more seamless and fluid than ever. Drummer Jon Karel’s cultured playing solidifies his spot as one of the greatest modern percussionists, in any genre. Bottom line: the only thing worse than being alone is being alone without this album.

Into The Moat, The Campaign”

The wait is over… The Campaign is here. After 2005’s tech-metal masterpiece, The Design, floored heavy music fans with a combination of dizzying jazz breaks, mind numbing percussion and dissonant bliss, four years seemed like an eternity to wait for a follow-up. Fans of Into The Moat’s brand of intelligent composition will not be let down. The Campaign is certainly a continuation of the discordant metalcore present on past releases, but this does not imply that it is more of the same. By incorporating slower tempos and manipulating time signatures at an alarming rate, Into The Moat sound more brutal than ever; vocalist Earl Ruwell’s triumphant, low-register growl is the icing on the cake.

Although long-time fans will surely love the record, The Campaign may seem somewhat pretentious to the new listener; there are so many rhythmic patterns and changes in the music that it surpasses Calculating Infinity era Dillinger Escape Plan in terms of unpredictability. This fact alone may leave those people thinking that Into The Moat are incredible musicians with poor songwriting ability. In spite of the occasionally overwhelming technical bombardment, it is hard to disagree that groove exists on The Campaign; the interesting bass work and underlying melodies on the final track, “The Hermit”, is a prime example of this. We know you can play a million notes a minute, but cool down Into The Moat… you’re better when you let the instruments breathe.

– Jeremy Garber


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