Finally, after 3 years, the hard rock/post-grunge band 12 Stones have returned with their third effort, Anthem For The Underdog. As you probably already know, 12 Stones caught our attention when front man Paul McCoy was featured in the highly misinterpreted Evanescence hit, "Bring Me to Life." They have also been featured in the media numerous times, from WWE to the Elektra Soundtrack (along with Switchfoot). So, with that being said, does this record really reflect upon that success? Or will they still be considered underdogs despite their success?
First things first - this album doesn't necessarily break any new ground. Most of what you hear will remind you of acts such as Nickelback, Daughtry, Creed, Puddle of Mudd, and even a hint of Nirvana. That's not to say that this isn't an effort worth listening to. The tracks on this record are relatively catchy and it doesn't take many spins to get you into the high energetic rock sound it has to offer. From the first track, "Anthem for the Underdog," the album wastes no time giving the best it has to offer, in terms of energy and lyrical content. Anthem for the Underdog is exactly what the title suggests; an anthem for Christians considered born to lose. Tracks such as "Lie to Me," "Broken Road" (which slightly resembles Nickelback's "How You Remind Me"), and "Games You Play" discuss broken relationships. While others, like "It was You," bring forward a worship atmosphere. One true highlight would have to be "This Dark Day." This song encourages the listener that there is hope in any seemingly hopeless situation, "I'll close my eyes and I'll drift away/I'll make it through my darkest day." Rather than holding on to drugs, it's better to hold on to Jesus. Unfortunately, 12 Stones doesn't make it clear enought that Jesus is the obvious hope for making it through the darkest days.
"World So Cold" starts out a bit dull but later expands to become another energetic rock ballad. One of the catchiest tracks on the record is "Arms of a Stranger," though it does sound heavily influenced by artists like Daughtry. That again brings me to the realization that this record has little to no originality to offer. However, the strong and encouraging lyrical content saves this album from just becoming another mainstream clone, waiting to be forgotten about within a year. After "Hey Love" and "Games You Play," the album modestly closes with an acoustic version of "Lie to Me."
All in all, this album is good. Fans of 12 stones will enjoy it and probably consider this their greatest effort, and to honest, it most definitely is. With songs like "Anthem For The Underdog," "Adrenaline," and "Games You Play," it's clear that you'll find enough energy to have you rocking for months, or at least until they release their next record. This album would most likely please most mainstream rock fans and radio fans alike. So, with that being said, this album is truly worth checking out.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 6/10/08, written by Darius Sanchez for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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