Numbers
Numbers


4.0
excellent

Review

by Thompson D. Gerhart STAFF
June 16th, 2012 | 15 replies | 2,099 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hook-laden, keyboard-driven metalcore that adds the extra dimension to hold your attention.

Metalcore has become such a standard "genre by numbers" that it seems every release has to figure out a gimmick in order to stand out from the crowd. Of course, what people never seem to realize is that if enough people stand away from a collective at the same distance in the same direction, the crowd just starts to move. But while Numbers certainly deviate along the same path as others before them, they manage to veer far enough off the beaten path to be interesting.

Their secret weapon in doing so? Keyboards.

From the driving techno bleep-bloop overtones of "Ice On Fire" to the light, classical ivory ticklings at the beginning of "Bravery" and even the Jordan Rudess-style semi-comical circus-y interlude of the terribly named "Oh Teh Monies," the keyboard provides an agent of both unification of sound and differentiation of style. And while it's clear that the other instrumental performances are present and doing their thing, it's just as crystal that they keys are in the driver's seat. Though there are moments where the interplay between the instruments provides a great effect - be it the guitar lines in "Bravery" trading rhythm and lead with the spaced-out synth or the techno oriented keys profile accenting drum beats with pops, clicks, and a few high cymbal hits. Bass, meanwhile adds its own undercurrent that highlights the deeper sections of the track while busting out its own solo grooves in sections, including a spectacular breakout in "Ice On Fire" and a slow jazz break in "Please The Senses."

Of course, keyboard player Kyle Bishop has yet another wrinkle to his game. As the album's primary vocalist, he also manages to deliver clean vocal hooks throughout while augmenting them with well-paced growls, making for a dynamic, interesting, and very memorable listen on every track. While it's the electronic groove of tracks like "Ice On Fire" that will pique the listener's interest to begin with, it's vocal hooks like the following clean passage that keep it rustling around between the ears long after the track's stopped:

So get up, get out of this mess she made you clean up
I know, I know that she's taken everything
She's like ice on fire: she's hot from a distance but cold to the touch
Burning the skin as she gets too close
Freezing your heart as she touches your soul


Numbers are a group that bring enough of that little something extra to melodic metalcore to make them interesting and a group that brings enough hooks to give them quick recognition and a boost on the way up in the music scene. Put those two elements together and you may just have a group that's done enough to resist the stagnation surrounding the genre. Their sophomore release will have to do the deciding there. But for now, there's plenty of material bouncing from wall to wall on this album to indulge your good and varied taste in music and your ADD at the same time.



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2012



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Herp Derpington and the Derp Force Five.

Album available for stream at http://numbersmusic.bandcamp.com/album/numbers

Available for purchase at $4/digital download. $6+shipping for a physical copy (which actually looks nice!) This is the first physical CD I've bought since Cynic's Carbon-Based Anatomy, so that ought to say something.

Durrzo
June 16th 2012



1100 Comments


The stupid keyboard sounds and samples or whatever the fuck they're called really hurt this album for me. I like that stuff when it's used well but imo it's just distracting here.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 16th 2012



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Imo it's used well on here (as stated above). How do you find it distracting? I mean it really is the primary mover through and through.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
June 16th 2012



50114 Comments


I bet the only number this band uses is 0

Digging: Tiny Moving Parts - Pleasant Living

bloc
June 17th 2012



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice work man. I couldn't get into this though.

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Trebor - if that's a chug joke, well this isn't really a chugtastic album. It really is keys/synth driven with some heavy backing from the strings.

bloc - Why can't we agree on ratings? :/ Might just not be your cup of tea though.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



10070 Comments


I'll have to check this out, Atomic, we have pretty similar taste when it comes down to it.

And ORBS in recommended? Gawd, promising as hell.

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



10070 Comments


And eh, have to agree with Bloc on this one although for different reasons. It all blends together, but the keyboards are my favorite part honestly. They aren't interesting enough to save the album, though

bloc
June 17th 2012



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah the keys weren't bad at all most of the time, but I think band should have eased back on them at certain points in songs. Like, they were EVERYWHERE.

The album isn't bad, but it was just too damn predictable. I could almost always tell when the "wacky" break was coming in the song or when the Rhodes piano was going to bust out with a jazzy solo on top of it.

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



10070 Comments


I just get more and more frustrated with metalcore these days - keep thinking I'll at least like some of it

DotEight
June 17th 2012



5493 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice review, but this sucks.

bloc
June 17th 2012



34780 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I just get more and more frustrated with metalcore these days - keep thinking I'll at least like some of it

I couldn't have said it better. I love this new brand of technical metalcore and all that crap but lately none of it seems to be much higher than average...

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



10070 Comments


None of it stands out to me anymore. The closest thing to metalcore I like is probably Dillinger, heh. Or BTBAM. But neither of those have much to do with the genre anymore, that's for sure.

AtomicWaste
Staff Reviewer
June 17th 2012



1987 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I recommend Orbs because of the keyboard centric approach (and the way it works with the sound) and I feel like Bishop's voice is sort of like Adam's in that it takes a few listens to get into it. At least that's how it was for me. Sorry to hear you don't dig it as much as I may have led you to believe you might.

Maybe it's just me, but I do find this genuinely interesting. Seems like if this band gets bigger (which, in my opinion, they should) they'll probably get the same kind of reception as Obscura or Periphery where you either love 'em or hate 'em.

As far as straight technical metalcore goes, it'll never get better than Reflux, though.

gordodustin
March 2nd 2013



117 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really good album. You can buy the EP on bandcamp.com for $4. I hope they keep their keyboards in there too for their full album.



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