Twelve Pearls
"Listen EP"

(Self-Released 2003)Twelve Pearls - Listen EP

For a long time, modern rock and Southern California were synonymous. But apparently it is in the water in Oklahoma, too, as proven by Twelve Pearls. Mixing those heavy riffs, melodic vocals and slightly understated drums to create a radio friendly sound, the band's "Listen EP" does its best trying to stand shoulder to shoulder with SoCal's best. And they put up a fair fight while avoiding the pop punk pitfall.

With a stand out modern rock radio friendly opening, the familiar sounding "Mexican Boyfriend" is up beat and catchy enough with its quick pace to keep you listening and even get you interested. That momentum seems wasted, however, with the follow up track, "Little Girl," which uses silly, mundane lyrics (such as rhyming "subway," "say," "gay" and "no way") before a melodic chorus over somewhat heavy riffs and crashing drums. Picking up speed, "Raining" returns to the straight-ahead modern rock sound complete with a respectable guitar solo and remind of the Barenaked Ladies. Slower, the power pop ballad "Make It Better" is somewhat choppy with lots of percussion but has a certain charm. The acoustic ballad "Always" ends the EP with a slightly different feeling "“ more mature, if anything.

Offering an EP of five songs that have some variety, Twelve Pearls are able to show just enough of a range to appeal to a few different tastes. From the up beat, quick paced to the pop ballads, "Listen EP" might not be the most original, or always the most intelligent, but has enough good moments that you can ignore the rest. And with their instrumentally well arranged closing track, "Always," you know Twelve Pearls have a maturity and soft spot" -- even if they might hide it at first.

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