Wednesday, October 3, 2007

12 Stones - Potter's Field

12 Stones - Potter's Field is more accomplished than the band's debut, but the group hasn't yet developed a distinct voice in a rock scene overcrowded with soundalikes. 12 Stones - Potter's Field is a muscular hard rock in the vein of Saliva, Seether, Three Days Grace, and virtually every other band on Wind-Up's roster. 12 Stones' sophomore effort aims to capitalize on the recognition brought by Paul McCoy's memorable chorus cameo in the Evanescence monster hit "Bring Me to Life." It opts for a more powerful, guitar-heavy sound than their 2002 debut, and demands maximum radio-friendly compression from returning producer/mixer Dave Fortman.

This approach should make thick-stemmed rockers like "Speak Your Mind" and "Far Away" quite palatable to loud rock audiences, or at least those who want more from the Creed fallout than Alter Bridge. For that's what 12 Stones offers -- urgent post-grunge rockers that follow a distinct and marketable formula. Loud lead riffs balance on introspective verses, which then burst into elegiac and/or bittersweet chorus melodies that get the hands in the arena a-wavin'. Fans of Nickelback and 3 Doors Down should be right at home here in Potter's Field.

It'll be interesting to track Potter's Field's trajectory as time passes by. It's a palatable record by Christian rock standards, as it conforms to many of the genre's standards and is quite innocuous for the most part. But its future with mainstream audiences is the question mark. Alternative conduits are being far more selective with post-grunge rock, opting rather for the out-of-the-box likes of Franz Ferdinand, The Killers, Jet, and Modest Mouse when choosing their playlists. 12 Stones are nowhere near this level of innovation, but merely remain content with what they've done before.

12 Stones - Potter's Field album

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