The Number Twelve Looks Like You isn’t exactly for the faint of heart. The New Jersey sextet’s third long-player is based around the titular concept of schizophrenic combinations and conflict, and the band’s music follows suit. So while the heart of Mongel is made up of Dillinger Escape Plan-style mathcore, it is cross-bred with death-metal, punk, jazz and even flamenco, making for an interesting, if disorientating, aural experience. While this isn’t always a success—the occasional guttaral growls seem particularly incongruous, even given the dissonant context—this is a certain joy in hearing the thunderous furore of “Imagine Nation Express” melt into to graceful flamenco and back again in the blink of an eye; or to the spastic “Paper Weight Pigs”‘s Spanish guitar break. Despite this, and the band’s evident virtuosity, Mongrel is disappointingly uninspiring, so incoherent it is liable to just pass you by, occasional melodic flourishes aside. Vocalist Jesse Korman is on record as saying Mongrel is intended to be “complete chaos, with no direction at all” and so, in this respect, the Number Twelve Looks Like You have succeeded rather well—it’s just difficult to see this winning them many new admirers.
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