Number Twelve Looks Like You
"Here at the End of All Things"

(Vanguard Records 2008)Number Twelve Looks Like You - Here at the End of All Things

Sounding like a much goofier Napalm Death and a not-so-smug version of John Zorn's Naked City, The Number 12 Looks You is a 14-year-old fragging your sorry, 40-year-old-ass in an Xbox Live Halo deathmatch. I like this album a lot. It's a live recording of a 2007 show in their home state of New Jersey, plus two remixes and one track that's twelve minutes and twelve seconds of pure silence.

Although "Here at the End of All Things" is probably not a great way to be introduced to the band (as I was), hardcore fans--of which there is nearly a cult-worth in the New York/New Jersey area--will want to scoop it up post-haste.

Every reviewer who takes on this record will inevitably use a blender metaphor, and I'm not too proud to try to be an exception. The New Jersey-based band is hardcore metal's answer to Venetian Snares, that hardcore techno-ologist who seems to miraculously take every sound Nature can make, toss them into a blender (there's that metaphor) and then funnel them into a single, macabre stream of gunk and then funnel it directly into your headspace. We call it mathcore--I guess--because although it all sounds like a raging mess, a close listen reveals a band that deftly, musically, even, switches very quickly from grindcore to hardcore to extreme emo (what a Long Island friend of mine calls "screemo").

This is especially the case with "Imagine Nation Express (Jesse Cannon Remix)." I suppose it is a remix so some of those trebly blasts of noise are artificially induced, but listen to another blast of a song, "Grandfather," and you'll hear it's not too much of a distortion of what the band is capable of sounding like onstage. And, it must be noted, unlike a lot of other bands with really awesome technical chops who play with extreme genre-hopping, they mostly leave jazz out of the madness. Stupid jazz just never sounds good or interesting or funny. (I'm looking at you, JZ.)

The accompanying DVD does a nice job of capturing their anarchic live show--no small feat given the volume. Plus: two music videos and a band interview.

Like I said, newbies will probably skip this one, but for fans who need a fix before their next studio album and who are unlikely to get off on YouTube's very scant offerings of TN12LLY live stuff, "Here at the End" is a must-have.

A

buy it!