|My Big Hero |1998, Nothing Records|
1. Come on in Out of the Rain, 2. Pleasant Smell, 3. Sunshine, 4. My Big Hero, 5. Something's Burning, 6. Where Fools Go, 7. 2 Miles, 8. Bovine, 9. Me Again, 10. Mr. Johnson Take a Bow
Formed in 1995, 12 Rounds is a band found by Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails. Mr. Reznor decided to sign 12 Rounds to the Nothing Records label, and allowed them to release their second album My Big Hero on the label. Atticus Ross (programmer, instruments) and Claudia Sarne (vocals, instruments) make up the band.
Let me start this review by talking about positive things. First off, Atticus Ross is one HELL of a programmer. He definitely knows how to manage and manipulate samples, synth lines, and other elements. Every song has something different, instrument-wise. "Pleasant Smell" has pleasant guitar feedback, "Where Fools Go" has a dance-like synth, and "Me Again" has odd background ambient noises combined with a drum machine that matches PERFECTLY. Those are only a few examples. All in all, Ross knows what he's doing.
Now to the negative things: Claudia Sarne. I don't mean to be harsh (hey, I'm a reviewer!) but she has the WORST voice I've heard in a band. Ever. In general, her voice sounds like she has the flu, mainly a bunch of snot clogged up her nose. In "My Big Hero," it's very prominent as she attempts to sing in a sexual manner. It sure as hell doesn't turn me on. "Bovine" features her screaming during the chorus, which doesn't help out the fact that it still sounds wrong. Yet in songs like "Where Fools Go," her voice is distorted and sounds a bit different, thanks to the genius programming mind of Ross.
Overall, 12 Rounds features Atticus Ross' extraordinary talent in programming. But on the flip side, it also features Claudia Sarne's horrid vocals, which usually kills Ross' programming vibe. The album is similar to getting kicked in the nuts: No matter how hard you take it, you just CAN'T win. (Xenerki)