Review ·

You ever think about what your pets think of your music taste? Sure, animals may react when you put on Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" or Sufjan, but those reactions are most likely purely physical or conditioned by whatever happens when you listen to that music. It's probable that animals have no understanding of music as a source of gratification, no notion that music is different from any other form of sound. Regardless of style, structure or medium, Frou-Frou your domesticated gila monster hears every song you play as an inert, meaningless flow of noise, neither good nor bad.

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And that's what it's like listening to Mongrel, the third LP from New Jersey's tech-metal sextet the Number 12 Looks Like You. The band doesn't so much write songs as compile fragmentary riffs and guitar runs into extreme metal scrapbooks. A note-perfect Dillinger Escape Plan freak-out here, some tightly wound Mars Volta melodic moves there, and a hint of Blood Brothers sass in between. Each song's elements are completely modular: You could swap the gratuitous flamenco lick from "Paper Weight Pigs" with the Psyopus-style, stutter-grind spasms of "The Try (Thank You)," and the two songs would still sound the same.

 

The Number 12 Looks Like You intended Mongrel as an emotionally driven concept album, essaying the personal demons of the titular character as he flip-flops between self-control and psychosis. Knowing that, the schizoid song arrangements make a little more sense, and the shape-shifting screaming/growling/singing of Number 12's dual vocalists are a good fit, too. But for an album that's supposed to tap into someone's inner emotional life, Mongrel sounds overly cerebral and almost passionless. Somewhere in the midst of the stop-on-a-dime grindcore/post-punk/emo about-faces, the Number 12 Looks Like You loses whatever hint of personality it had to begin with. The musicianship is impeccable and there are tons of great riffs scattered throughout, but all the super-cool parts collide into one another without direction, and Mongrel's constant helter-skelter motion paradoxically causes its songs to recede into the background as dull, undifferentiated sonic wallpaper, unable to make an impact.

 

Don't believe me? Try playing Mongrel for your dog. Maybe he'll perk up his ears for a minute, but he's gonna go back to licking his crotch by the end of the first song, guaranteed.

 

***

Band: http://www.itsnumber12time.com/

Label: http://eyeballrecords.com/

Audio: http://www.myspace.com/tntllu

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wow, thats harsh.

nikko

nice a album doesnt represent your musical taste so declare them not music i love number twelve mathcore with a nice flavor of progressive jazz its awesome and i could understand if you said you didnt like them but be respectful of musical taste and you cant deny the talent that goes into the instruments.

Johann

To be fair Johann, this reviewer said that "The musicianship is impeccable." And also I don't think he called it "not music," he was just saying that it sort of felt like an endless flurry of cool musical stuff happening instead of proper songs.

I'd be interested to hear where you think progressive jazz fits into Number 12's sound...is there any improvisation at all? To me "progressive jazz" implies free jazz - stuff that's not tied to a melody or unison writing and sorta rhythmically free. Don't hear much of that on Mongrel.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/narfish/HeadbangSquare.jpg narfish

This is mathcore.

Aaron

Prefix Magazine is crap anyway. Who cares.

God

Mathcore and free-form jazz are very common in this music. It's mathcore. The Number 12 Looks Like You are my favorite band. And that's because I understand music. I play drums and guitar, as well as scream. This stuff is so technical and complicated. The stuff. Is great.

The Number 12 Looks Like you could kick any sissy bands butt any day.

Hunter

TNTLLU > prefix magazine.

jesus

how is this album emotionless? it sounds to me like someone is angry as hell, frustrated, completley spontaneous. I guess if you find no emotion in this then you are the one who is emotionless. oh and upon listening to this album my fuc.king dog started dancing by the way

ur mom

Mathcore is a mix of different melodies and TNTLLU is a perfect example of that. whoever wrpte this review probably has a horrible taste in music and licks his dogs balls while he listens to them, cause every other comment was supportive.

#12

Emotionless?
you probably didn't even take a look at the lyrics

Imagine Nation Express is one of the most passionately furious songs I have ever heard.

#_#

I think the review was great, but I couldn't disagree more with your opinion! This is such a great album. It's true it's totally bizarre, and it wouldn't be appropriate for everybody, but there's no question this band came out with exactly what they were going for and lots of people love it. I definitely would call this their best album, too.

Eric

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