12 Stones

12 Stones

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Wind-Up Entertainment struck gold with Creed, and the label has made post-grunge rock its signature sound ever since. The trend continues with this eponymous debut from 12 Stones. The New Orleans natives perfectly combine the melodic intervention of Three Doors Down with a sense of dramatic dynamics right out of Nickelback's bag of tricks. It's all held together by soaring vocals -- akin to a more polished version of (four more stones) Gavin Rossdale -- that will sound oh so perfect coming out of a radio speaker, along with more technical axe-work, particularly in the soloing, than the more commercial fare usually has. When you throw in a solid mix courtesy of producer Jay Baumgardner (Drowning Pool, Papa Roach) that accentuates all of the hit-making potential of tracks such as "Open Your Eyes," lead single "Broken," and the tribal "Soulfire," 12 Stones seems to be a can't-miss prospect from start to finish.

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