With a nod toward its own patchwork pedigree, The Number Twelve Looks Like You named its sophomore full-length Mongrel—but don't think for a second that the band is trafficking in self-deprecation. With surety and poise, the New Jersey sextet has constructed another cut-and-paste monstrosity out of scraps of The Blood Brothers' dual-scream abrasion and Dillinger Escape Plan's nanotech riffing. Still, virtuosity for its own sake is hardly a virtue—but The Number Twelve knows precisely when to throw a soaring, melodic chorus or a bizarre flamenco flourish into an otherwise grinding, grunting gnarl of prog-metal. There's a point when all bands that strive for inhuman complexity hit a brick wall; thankfully, The Number Twelve holds back just enough to keep Mongrel perpetually surprising rather than terminally masturbatory.

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