12 Stones’ Beneath The Scars feels like it’s an existential spiritual journey on the way to redemption, compiled by the 14 tracks that come together to take the listener on a journey through a gamut of emotions.
Review by Danielle Boise
12 Stones fans will not be disappointed with the latest CD release, Beneath The Scars, which came out on May 22nd on their new record company, EMG. Even with the departure from Wind-up Records after nine years of working with the company, the band maintains its definitive sound that makes 12 Stones. When it came time to return to the studio to record Beneath The Scars, the band used producer Skid Mills, with whom they worked with on 2007’s Anthem for the Underdog.
Beneath The Scars feels like it’s an existential spiritual journey on the way to redemption, compiled by the 14 tracks that come together to take the listener on a journey through a gamut of emotions. The album kicks off with the track “Infected,” which has this really angry, driven quality to it. That anger and abrasiveness that is found on the first track works its way through the entire album, ebbing back-n-forth between the aggression of “Infected” all the way through to the grandeur and epic feeling of the orchestra ensemble of “Bury Me.” So, the listener is literally taken on a journey of mind-blowing proportions while trying to find answers that they may not have consciously asked themselves, but that still resonate on a personal level–that’s why Paul McCoy’s lyrics are so on the nose. He asks and states the questions I think we are all searching for, even if we don’t know it at that moment.
There is a depth of pureness, leveled in with passion on every track. “Bulletproof” is a fast and fierce with a bit of a bite. “For The Night” has an element that comes off a little message-y, but more in the way of “hey, look at what I’ve been through” vibe to it. I love the lyrics on “Worlds Collide” – “I never meant to be your favorite enemy.”
The song “That Changes Everything,” is one of the other tracks that added the orchestra to bring the song to a completely different level. There is a softness that combined with the lyrics is very reflective.
“The One Thing” takes the listen back into the land of steady rock. While “Blind” brings you back to center and on point, “I’m With You” is a reminder that you are never alone. “Psycho” is delicious and has this crazy quality to it that just makes you want to thrash around. “Only Human” is a reminder that we really are only just that–human–and to try to find forgiveness; if not in others, then in one’s self. “Someone Like You” talks about the lies we hid behind and the truths we need to confront in them. “Shine On Me” has reflectiveness lyrically to the song.
The last track on the album is “Pretty Poison,” which talks about the betrayal of letting someone into not only your heart, but soul only to realize that they are toxic to you, but since they’ve woven their way into your core you don’t know how to let them go.
The whole album carries a thesis on the journey of life, really, of coming to terms through learning, growing and questioning; that’s what really this album is all about, at least for me. So check it out.
12 Stones just wrapped up one tour with Blameshift, Digital Summer, and Throwing Gravity at The 120 Tavern in Marietta on August 7. With only 36 hours down time in their schedule before heading back on the road for another tour. 12 Stones will continue touring through December to support Beneath The Scars. If you get a chance to see the live, definitely do it. They put on a hell of a show.
For more information on 12 Stones or to see their tour schedule, visit www.12stones.com.