When most bands re-unite, the comeback record can hold a heavy weight, whether it’s the decision to re-evaluate their sound or re-visit past glories, ultimately creating a stir within their fan base.
With New Jersey’s The Number Twelve Looks Like You well aware of this predicament, ‘Wild Gods’ manages to keep to their core appeal yet new influences are present throughout.
Opening with ‘Gallery Of Thrills’, jazz motifs swirl amongst snaking brass melodies before launching into buzz saw guitars and burgeoning bass lines. Navigating the musical chaos, vocalist Jesse Korman contorts his delivery accordingly, flitting between shrieks, growls, and spoken word passages with the urgency of a debut release. Expanding their already ambitious sonic palette, guitarist Alexis Pareja switches between sprawling lead lines and aggressive palm-muting with ease.
Throughout the record, the group prove that they’ve not lost an inch of their bite. ‘Raised And Erased’, for example, delivers a furious run through of twisting guitars, unhinged growls, and blasts of black metal. Deftly showcasing their genre hopping tendencies in the same track, laconic organ melodies follow on from dizzying guitar solos seamlessly.
With lead single ‘Ruin The Smile’, the group encapsulate the record, with confronting string sections fighting against stabbing guitars as Korman launches a scathing tirade against the catholic church. Whilst the track balances brutality and densely woven atmospherics, the wide dynamic range and smooth transitions highlight the band’s refined style.
The same can be said for ‘Tombo’s Wound’, moving between barked vocals, intimate whispers, sparse notes, and breakneck palm-muting, the track commands its pace and atmosphere. Leaning on the rhythm section heavily, bassist DJ Scully injects energetic grooves into moments of serenity as Michael Kadnar crafts intricate drum beats that push and pull the track towards its frantic conclusion.
As the record plays through, it becomes apparent that The Number Twelve Looks Like You have grown into this soundscape, from the jazz influenced backbone of its foundations to the plethora of technical changes occurring naturally. Instead of pushing for a new sound, an honest evolution of the group has taken place, as evidenced on the more stripped back ‘Rise Up Mountain’ that concludes the record.
Returning after a long absence can make or break a band, and with ‘Wild Gods’, The Number Twelve Looks Like You have created a comeback record that’s arguably their most realised effort yet.