12 Stones
Beneath the Scars


3.0
good

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
May 26th, 2012 | 66 replies | 9,632 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unfashionably late, expectedly dated & foreseeably passable. In a word: Predictable.

Whatever happened to punctuality? It probably went out the window as soon as the phrase “fashionably late” came into vogue. But seriously, who the hell wants their train, plane or even a party guest to be late? If there was an off-setting pay-off, then maybe the wait would be worth it... But in most cases, the results are – in a word – predictable. Of course, in order for lateness to be annoying, the tardy subject must first be anticipated... Hence why most delayed album releases pass under the radar. While it may not have been the most anticipated arrival of either 2011 or 2012, the fourth LP from Louisiana rockers 12 Stones does not deserve to be let off scot-free. Initially scheduled for an August 2011 release, ‘Beneath The Scars’ (originally titled ‘Only Human’) was delayed until September... And then November... And then March 2012... And then May. Was the wait worth it? Predictably; Not really.

Closing in on five years after its full-length predecessor, ‘Beneath The Scars’ will undoubtedly appeal to already converted fans... But only on a sporadic basis. It actually gets off to a promising start with the energetically aggressive ‘Infected’ delivering an acceptable updating of alt-metal with a satisfying hook & sufficient edge. Lead single ‘Bulletproof’ and the irresistible ‘Psycho’ are a little more dated, but come off as fun and catchy in a nostalgic kind of way. As with most modern rock albums destined for airplay, the slick production of Skidd Mills (Saliva, Saving Abel, Skillet, Sick Puppies & Rev Theory) is a concern, as the punchy drums and razor-sharp riffs are polished to the point of sterilization. Only on ‘The One Thing’ and ‘Someone Like You’ does some moderate grit work in the bands favour. Not coincidentally, these two cuts also contain Paul McCoy’s most urgent vocals of the LP, a vibe sadly lacking elsewhere from this undeniably talented vocalist.

Where ‘Beneath The Scars’ stumbles is that as many as half of its fourteen tracks are nondescript tunes which simply do not distinguish themselves from the radio-rock pack. Predictably, these are predominantly mid-tempo cuts which verge into ballad territory, and it’s difficult to believe that the over-abundance of such songs is not a result of the album’s belated arrival. For the most part, Eric Weaver’s accomplished guitar-work lifts these tracks to at least a passable level, but the lack of variety ultimately helps to bury them as a collective whole, with strings being used too subtly and the lack of an acoustic cut bordering on mind-boggling. The only exception to the rule will be if the rather generic, but uplifting, lyrics happen to strike a chord personally, an occurrence most likely on the heartfelt ‘That Changes Everything’, a tune primed to soon be the soundtrack to your least favourite television series.

Disappointingly offering more of the same mainstream rock peppered with post-grunge that we have come to expect from the quartet, ‘Beneath The Scars’ provides insufficient boundary pushing and maturity. Furthermore, while the album does show more than enough signs of life to make it worth a listen, the frustratingly haphazard manner in which the hooks have been scattered throughout the LP fail to make up the deficit, leaving an album that simply comes off as nothing much better than competent. It's a real shame too, because 12 Stones have shown throughout their now decade long career that they are indeed capable of better. Couple that with the length of time it took for this release to see the light of day and one can only sum 'Beneath The Scars' up as unfashionably late, expectedly dated & foreseeably passable. In a word: Predictable.

Recommended Tracks: Infected, That Changes Everything & Psycho.



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user ratings (44)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
pizzamachine (2.5)
“Beneath the Scars” further cements 12 Stones’ reputation as a forgettable Christian rock grou...


Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And then...

RIYL: Hindered Abel & Benjamin Trapt with a Staind Creed Skillet & Nickel for 3 Days.

And yeah, I know this review reads more like a 2.5. If it's any consolation, the fact that I have rated the album a 3 makes me... "HATE THE WAY I FEEEEEEEEL TONIGHTTTTTTT".

PuddlesPuddles
May 26th 2012



4772 Comments


Davey I had enough of this poison you've injected

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Puddles get used to it coz we're living in this world infected

pizzamachine
May 26th 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yup, this is a lot longer than my review and I agree with all of it. Mind pos!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, the 2 reviews work well with each other... & a case can be made that I'm practically saying most of the same things as your good self.

A couple of the songs grew on me the more I played the album, but if I wasn't reviewing it, I doubt they were memorable enough to keep me coming back.

pizzamachine
May 26th 2012



12571 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I liked a certain creepy riff out of Infected but that's pretty much all that sticks haha.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There are a few choruses that also stick in the mind, but nowhere near enough.

ProjectFreak
May 26th 2012



1321 Comments


i'm surprised this isn't getting a Nickelback level of hate. can't stand this band, their first two albums kind of embodied the worst of the Christian music industry

Chevy182
May 26th 2012



116 Comments


I like mainstream rock but this is just terrible.

Emim
May 26th 2012



26618 Comments


I don't get the people that hate this band.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was gonna mention the Christian aspect of the band in the sentence concerning lyrics, but it practically is irrelevant imo. And that goes just as much for their first 2 albums.

I guess there is a fine line that differentiates good from bad when it comes to mainstream rock, and sometimes it's just a matter of personal opinion.

Chevy182
May 26th 2012



116 Comments


More specific, that line would be boring/fun.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good point Chevy... I'd agree with that.

tiesthatbind
May 26th 2012



7373 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'm surprised you didn't mention Worlds Collide, that's easily the highlight of the album for me. The
ballads are definitely the weaker ones and there are too many, but at least they're all listenable
(nothing as bad as Broken Road).

Captain North
May 26th 2012



6784 Comments


Considering how badly Anthem for the Underdog aged as I did (and it was always one of the less appealing hard rock albums I dug at 15), I highly doubt I'll bother with this. That you continue to yourself Davey considering I don't think you've given an album like this a high score in years is beyond me, except for nostalgia I guess?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I had one hyphenated word noted next to 'World Collide': "chorus-reliant". Solid chorus, but absolutely nothing else to get excited over imo. Kind of sounds like a 'Potters Field' song... Hehe.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I guess, Tom, when all is said & done, I still enjoy listening to mainstream rock... And while a lot of it is done blandly, I do believe it can still be done well when there is an edge added to it.

As for 12 Stones in particular, I do feel they have something a little different, but don't show it often enough on this album... But yeah, I'd be lying if I said nostalgia didn't play a part in my perseverance.


Tyrael
May 26th 2012



20829 Comments


Ugh Davey ugh

review good stuff ffs

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
May 26th 2012



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hello Thomas... It's been a while since you gave me an ugh... Probably because it's been a while since I wrote a review.

Tyrael
May 26th 2012



20829 Comments


album: -3/5
Davey: 6/5
average rating: 1.5/5



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