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The Number Twelve Looks Like You

Worse Than Alone

(Eyeball; US: 10 Mar 2009; UK: Available as import)

The Number Twelve Looks Like You’s fourth full-length is all chaos and thunder—spastic and unpredictable rhythms, frantic and dissonant chord changes, mercurial vocals that range from disinterested spoken-word to throat-shredding screamo to Cookie Monster growl. Worse Than Alone rarely lets up over its forty-five minutes; the only true respite from its experimental-metal assault comes in the form of the brief “Serpentine”, which sounds like an outtake from Thrice’s Alchemy Index – Water.


The result is tortuously complex and technically impressive, a treat for the thinking headbanger that holds its own alongside The Blood Brothers and Fear Before the March of Flames. The trouble, of course, is that, like The Blood Brothers and Fear Before, it has little to recommend it to fans outside of its own small sliver, and isn’t likely to rise out of that cottage industry into a higher level of cultural visibility. But those who dig it will be so battered after a few listens that they’re unlikely to notice, or care.

Rating:

C. T. Heaney lives in Philadelphia and has been contributing to PopMatters since 2008.


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