Album Review :
Twelve Gauge Valentine - Shock Value

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Band: Twelve Gauge Valentine
Title: Shock Value
Label: Solid State
Release Date: 10/3/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. Intro
02. Casket Junkie
03. Danger Lurking
04. Dive-Bomb
05. Clash Of The Titans
06. The Juggernaut Prevails
07. 99 With An Anchor
08. Bone Crusher
09. Ball & Chain
10. Search Of The Alley Dwellers
11. Nicotine Queen

Members/Duties:

Jon Green: Vocals
Josh White: Guitar
Jonathon Cooper: Bass
Jonathan Webster: Drums

Well I can’t say I expected the style the band presented on this album. I was a fan of their previous EP, “Exclamationaire” released with Sound Vs. Silence in 2005. They’ve pretty much dropped the previous style, akin to an older Norma Jean era, and headed right for the South. Yes, the good ol’ South, which seems to be taking over the metalcore scene. “Shock Value” is Twelve Gauge Valentine’s debut for the new, younger Solid State roster.

The “Intro” is simply someone messing around with the FM knob attempting to find something to jam to, and to no surprise Everytime I… wait I mean Twelve Gauge Valentine chimes in. Sadly, this CD is eerily similar to many ETID tracks and really does 12GV harm. The band clearly is talented but they should have really attempted to bring a bit more to the table. Many will dismiss them as a simple rip-off band but I will not. The CD is enjoyable and does show me that the band could do great things, if they distance themselves from other contemporaries.

Anyways, the sound is definitely “metal ‘n roll”. Basically take a metalcore outfit and play classic rock for them 24/7 for a bit and this is what you’ll get. Thick, crunching guitars tear throughout the album. The more you listen to the disc, and focus on the guitar work, the songs begin to stand apart (although not drastically). The band often utilizes finger work and tosses in occasional chugging patterns. Very few legit breakdowns are found, but there are some slow Southern-tinged parts that might get a few dancing. The drums are decidedly more metal than ETID’s approach, which is no surprise when checking out the band’s back catalog. The bass is quite thick and really provides a solid backbone. Vocally, the leads are yelled/screamed, but are quite clear and easily understood. The recording sounds excellent and each instrument is captured quite well and provides and intense listen!

Overall Rating: It certainly has it’s highly enjoyable moments, but also has some spots that are generic and lacking. 12GV doesn’t present the best Southern-influenced metal out there but by far not the worst either. A little variation will go a long way and really help the band stand out. The main areas of issue with me are vocals (sound way too similar to ETID), and the similar (nearly identical) guitar approaches in each track. Needless to say after many listens it is growing on me and I do enjoy the album overall, but give it a lower score due to lack of creativity.

Standout Tracks: “Casket Junkie”, “Bone Crusher”, “Search Of The Alley Dwellers”

Marketability: The southern influenced metal is big right now so it was an opportune time for the band to “grow” into this style. The album is solid, but lacks catchiness that would be needed to really blow up.

Similar To: Everytime I Die, He Is Legend, Norma Jean

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