Review Summary: Worse Than Alone is an album best left for those with short-term memory
For the past seven years or so, The Number Twelve Looks You accomplished more than most bands, especially in such a relatively short time-span. They went from what was a chaotic grindcore band with terribly produced vocals to something much more refined, contained, and meaningful. Way back when, songs shorter than three minutes were the majority but it has become anything but with their latest, Worse That Alone
. But perhaps the shorter, more frantic style worked best for such a musical-segment orientated band; it appears Worse Than Alone
has the answer.
Within the discombobulated cortex of Worse Than Alone
lies this inner-beast of solidarity. No longer will you find such an eccentric songs as “Clarissa Explains Cuntainment” or “Like A Cat” but sturdy, hearty works like “The League of Endangered Oddities.” The maturity of guitar riffs and lack of ‘blast the listeners face off with technicality’ shows this band is there
musically. After all, The Number Twelve Looks Like You are not trying to instill standard song structure, but rather a ‘work-in-progress’ song. “Marvin's Jungle” starts out off-balance, but it all comes together as it slowly turns into this almost heartfelt, harmony-induced ending with a particularly odd, yet refreshing metal/pop-punk style. Elsewhere, the military chant of “If They Holler, Don't Let Go” changes into a display of Alexis Pareja’s crafty guitar work.
Hailing from New Jersey like The Number Twelve Looks Like You, I can appreciate their Jersey-based track, “The Garden’s All Nighters.” They slip in references like, ‘Quick Chek coffee is cooling down, we’re sweeping along the shoreline on some journey I can’t repeat,’ a track that strangely enough is highlighted by a style of Latin dance that would hardly be Jersey-like. Meanwhile, clocking in at nine plus minutes, “I'll Make My Own Hours” appears anything but. A frantic and disheveled overcoat soon slows down to become a well paced song with perfect guitar hooks and an utterly serene bridge. It is definitely their strongest closing track since “Civeta Dei.”
“Worse Than Alone” is best left for the short-term memory folks. There is clearly a lack of a long-term focus within their mold. As for the original statement, song lengths have become almost irrelevant with The Number Twelve Looks Like You due to the successes and disappointments at both ends of the spectrum. “Worse Than Alone” continues to slowly break boundaries, but there comes a time where the songs need a support system, or rather a collection of songs complimenting one another. Until then, they will merely continue writing songs that fit, but hardly fit the grand scheme of it all.