Opening with the anthemic Change My Ways, Twelve Noon set their stall out early with this terrific slice of hard rock. In vocalist Michael Loew, the band has a versatile frontman that can woo female rock fans with his smooth delivery style one minute, then gets pits moving the next with a metal ferocious bark.
Track 2, Breaking Down, really allows Loew to shine with its radio-friendly song structure and big chorus. Everything fits well inside of this track and you will want to hit repeat as soon as it finishes. Things get a lot more dense on the next song, Saints and Sinners, a track that I really enjoyed. It is a balls-to-the-wall, crunching rock tune that features some great barking vocals from Loew. Things slow down again for ballad, Hope in Tragedy, which sees Loew stretch himself vocally, pulling out all of the stops. It’s a little too sugary for me, but radio stations will love it. Better Side isn’t my favourite track on the album. I felt like it was a bit of a filler and it doesn’t have a particularly strong chorus like previous songs, musically it is just okay for me. There are some nice screams towards the end of the track , but not enough to save it from being a bit mediocre in my opinion.
The second half of the album follows a similar path with a mixture of strong hard rock tracks with some slower material. Carry On is another ballad and I’m starting to want a little more grunt. I like a good ballad, but not half an albums worth. There is some real nice guitar work on this track but I’m still wanting a little more meat now. Thankfully, No Way Out picks up the pace a bit during the intro before settling into a very solid rock tune. A catchy chorus takes this track up a few steps and it’s one of the albums best. The track Back For More has a great intro and also has an undeniable Skid Row vibe to it, too. It comes complete with chanting during the chorus and suddenly I’m back in 80s rock heaven. Bottom of the Bottle has a real swagger to it at the start. It builds nicely into another solid tune. Final track, The End, I was pleasantly surprised with. I was thinking it would be another ballad, but I was pleased to hear that I was wrong. Instead it’s a chugging, stomping cut that ends the album on a good note.
Overall, there is a lot to like about Saints And Sinners. The more up-tempo tracks are where I got my kicks, especially with tracks like Change My Ways, Saints And Sinners and No Way Out, all being highlights . Breaking Down is a good ballad, though I’m not sure I needed any more than that. I think the second half of the album is very solid with Back For More and The End being amongst my favourites.
Fans of bands like Alter Bridge, Seether and Shinedown will enjoy the melodies on offer here. The musicianship is good and the vocals are excellent. The more up-tempo tracks are very catchy and this is where the album scores highly for me. The slower tunes halted momentum a little but overall this is a very solid offering from Twelve Noon.
3.5/5 stars from the Grim Reader
Michael Loew (vocals), Rob Heil (guitar), Tim Clark (bass), John Devlin (guitar), Justin Runkel (drums)
TWELVE NOON is an American alternative metal band from Pittsburgh, PA with a sound as sharp as a razor’s edge! Formed in 2015 by Rob Heil and Michael Loew, the band originally performed cover songs in bars. As they began writing and incorporating original material into their live set, the band quickly realized that people were reacting strongly to the original material, and they decided to ditch the covers, shifting their focus towards writing all original songs.
In May of 2016, the band had amassed enough original material to record their first album, and caught the ear of producer Bobby Balow. He quickly brought the band into his studio, Raytown Productions where they recorded their ten best songs for inclusion on their debut album, entitled ‘Saints and Sinners’. Shortly thereafter, the band released the album independently and sent a few demo packages to various record labels and promoters. As the band began gigging throughout western Pennsylvania, they quickly made a name for themselves and local promoters started tapping the band as support for bands such as We Are Harlot, and Texas Hippie Coalition. In January of 2017, the band caught the attention of A&R executive Chris Poland who quickly signed the band to Eclipse Records. “Working close with Chris has been a pleasure and experience” says guitarist Rob Heil. “he really understands the business inside and out.” Vocalist Michael Loew continues, “signing to Eclipse Records is an opportunity with endless possibilities. I’m looking forward to being a part of such a hard working and driven label.”
Right from the standout heavy track ‘No Way Out’, one can hear the honesty in their music. The band writes about real life experiences, and things that have shaped them into who they are. “No Way Out is like a promise to our fans that we are in it for the long haul, and will never give up doing what we do as a band because (for us) there’s no way out” states vocalist Michael Loew. He continues citing another song, ‘Hope In Tragedy’ telling how the song “is about suicide, anxiety, and depression. It’s an uplifting song to remind people of the bigger picture, that time can heal wounds and life can still be worth living despite troubling times”.
The new album, ‘Saints and Sinners’ is a polished, epic rock journey for all who listen. This band is able to translate the raw emotions of life, love, and despair into meaningful, memorable songs that (after only a single listen) will hook you by the ear, and reel you in. It makes no difference what time it is, because anytime is a good time for Twelve Noon!