12XU: Self-titled: Cassette

This band initially threw me off. Given their name, I was expecting one of two things: a mediocre Wire circa Pink Flag or sub par Minor Threat. Since I already mentioned that I was thrown off, it should be obvious that neither of my expectations was fulfilled. Is that a bad thing? Uh, well, maybe… that’s up to you. To me, this French three-piece sounds like a ‘90s emotional hardcore band in the middle of the bridge whenever they don’t sound like a ‘90s melodic hardcore punk band in the middle of a bridge—the one exception is their cover of “Ha Ha Ha” (Flipper), which lacks the threat and insanity of the original. As uninteresting as I found it to be, it really sounded like they coulda done better; I’m left wondering why they didn’t…

 –Vincent (Self-released)