Review Summary: A great album, while certainly entertaining and quirky, loses all coherency or any other positive aspects on a few of its shorter songs.
When originality was lost in the grindcore scene, there came The Number Twelve Looks Like You, who added some creativity and flare into the stale scene. The album as a whole combines an abnormally large range of vocal displays, ranging from guttural growls, to ear-splitting shrieks. The band also shows an exceptional talent with their instrumentation. The drums often switch from slower, more stable beats to a speedy, frenetic style that makes use of every part of the drum kit in a highly-effective way. The guitars often switch from high-rate tremolo riffs to complete discord and dissonance. The speeds the guitarists reach are truly worthwhile and amazing; the flare they bring to the music is also just. The bass is hardly noticeable, but when it is, the sludgy groove that it gives to the music makes the album much more rich and is often a mode for unique switches in stylization and musical non-conformity. And better yet, all of these musical elements create a heavy, original sound that leads to an interesting form of aural assault.
However, no album is without its faults. The first track, plain and simple is a chore to sit through compared to the rest of an album. Sure its catchy at some points, but it's just adequate, and is absolutely in no way an opening track. But luckily, things pick up in intensity, enjoyability, technicality, and originality with “Jesus And Tori.” Beginning with extremely fast, dissonant, frenetic guitar work, the second track promises to be memorable and fulfills that promise; the track as a whole is extremely memorable. There is only one fault with this track, and that is the amount of breakdowns; perhaps there are too many, even if some are not as noticeable as others.
“Document: Grace Budd” is a throwaway track. “Blue Dress” though, is certainly a treat. This track almost feels more like a death metal track than a mathcore journey. “Blue Dress” is a constantly speedy track with a great deal of vocal display present, and the instrumentation (especially the drumming) is simply sublime.
“If These Bullets Could Talk” constantly changes from elements of ambiance and post-rock to their signature brand of discord and chaos. The track following it however, seems to be a half-hearted effort. What separates that track from the countless others like it? It's quite unfortunate as well. Luckily, “Empty Calm” a superb instrumental follows. Too bad there was absolutely no transition from the six-second breakdown in “Bambi The Hooker and a Case of Beer” to the acoustic track.
And then, there is the epic Civeta Dei. The Number Twelve Looks Like You certainly saved the best for last with this track. Building up from a tranquil twenty-or-so seconds into a darker version of their sound sums up the track as a whole from the start. Then, a solo kicks in, and the guitars shine. A sludgy bass line brings the track into another, more peaceful segment of the song. A twangy take on this segment ensues before a sudden, extremely heavy breakdown kicks in. Soon after, a faster part picks up some sort of malevolence on the way to another twangy instrumental segment in the song. The song ends with a cross between tranquility (on the part of the instruments) and calamity (executed by the vocalists.) The feedback fade-out gives the listener a feeling of completeness.
Overall, the album is an accomplishment on so many levels. The instrumentation throughout is sublime, the genre-bending style of the album is definitely an achievement, and the vocal work is extensive. And while the album occasionally falls flat conceptually, lyrically, and on coherency, these aspects can be overlooked for the most part, and a listener can be truly satisfied.