Saints And Sinners – CD//DD
Eclipse Records – Release Date: June 9th, 2017
Reviewed By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker
From Steel City, USA comes one of the more invigorating albums I have been privy to streaming via a promo recently. The band is freshly formed one in some sense of the word, a quintet amassed not that long ago in 2015 by members Rob Heil (gtrst.) and Michael Loew (vox). Twelve Noon rounded out their roster with guitarist John Devlin, bassist Tim Clark and drummer Justin Runkel and believe it or not, began as a cover band. Feeling the fire burning to write and create their own original music after a song or two placed in their covers sets got tremendous receptions, that is exactly what they did. Soon, the band caught the attention and ears of producer Bobby Balow and fast forward to now, they sit poised to unleash ‘Saints And Sinners‘ via Eclipse Records on June 9th.
On said album, Twelve Noon truly wear a variety of musical hats so to speak, meaning they cover a lot of territory in their music. Blending elements of razor sharp heavy metal with those of hard rock, nu metal, alt. rock and even some melodic, more contemporary moments, the guys meld it all into this powerful recorded statement. It’s like a rollercoaster running at top speed, it hits twists, turns and curves with seemingly reckless abandon but truth is, there’s a method to the madness. A course laid out, a path being traveled and it is most definitely a ride you should get your ass on and buckle in to.
Things tear right off the line with the groove-laden stomp of ‘Change My Ways‘, a chunky, heavy riffer that chugs forward with pure determination. Aggressive music and vocals drive things onward and then abruptly relent to some incredible choruses laden with infectious melody. At one point things go unhinged with some scathing vocal deliveries while the music itself remains a bit laid back with a bluesy swagger. With the bar set, things quickly detour into the unexpected, solid, emotionally poignant ‘Breaking Down‘. Everything is dialed back on this track, keeping it all tight-knit while the drumming especially stood out to me on this one. The amps are cranked up and the attitude set loose on the album’s title track, ‘Saints And Sinners‘, next. A mid tempo pace pushes the song on with some pure rock fueling, catchy hooks and choruses, an infectious and addictive track for sure.
In fact, those very same qualities permeate all of the ten songs here and regardless if you’re a metalhead or a mainstream rock fan, there’s something for you to enjoy here. From the ballad-esque ‘Hope In Tragedy‘ to the acoustic-tinged southern rock of ‘Carry On‘, the song that Guns & Roses never wrote but should have, it’s all here. Maybe the darkly-hued aggro-styling of ‘No Way Out‘ (video streaming below) or the even darker tainted ‘Bottom Of A Bottle‘ is what you need. Then there’s always the album-closing ass kick that is the apprpriately titled ‘The End‘, a track that is quickly becoming my own personal favorite. Not to mention the nice double bass drum kicks rippling throughout the cut at times or the simmering guitar leads/solos.
Yep, Saints And Sinners is a nice breath of freshly metalized modern hard rock, one that I hear varied influences contained within. Moments of 80’s rock to the nu movement of the Nineties or the alternative constructs of more recent years, you hear it all at times. After all, isn’t time what this band and their official label debut here are all about? So, you know what time it is..or you’d better because, if not, then make the time Twelve Noon all the time by checking this superb album out as soon as possible.
– Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker