New Orleans, Louisiana based 12 Stones is likely one of the most underrated bands in modern mainstream music today. Frontman Paul McCoy played a role in the debut hit from mega stars, Evanesence. 12 Stones also found a place on the soundtrack to the hit 2002 Dwayne Johnson movie, The Scorpion King. And with three successful studio albums under its belt, one would think this band would be much more well known than it is. With the release of its fourth full length studio, 12 Stones may have finally cemented its place in mainstream rock.
12 Stones’ new album, ‘Beneath the Scars’ is currently slated to be released May 29th via Texas-based Executive Music Group. The band’s new album is the most rock solid (yes bad pun there) album that the band has released to date. It opens with the hard rocking social commentary of ‘Infected.’ [Paul] McCoy sings on the album’s lead single, “I feel weak/I feel numb/Had enough/of this poison we’ve injected/living in this world infected.” The song discusses how the state of things in the country and the world has really gone down. He goes on to sing as part of the chorus, “Time is running out”, hinting that the world needs to change and soon. It’s a statement that’s bold without being preachy. Add in the guitar work of Eric Weaver, and the band has a great start to a great album.
The band hardly lets up after ‘Infected.’ From there, the band launches into the uplifting but equally rocking, ‘Bulletproof.’ This is one of those pieces that every listener will appreciate. McCoy sings on this song, “The fight has made me stronger/I could never turn my back now/Don’t you point the finger/Your words no longer break me down/I’m finally taking over/The truth has surfaced all around/The days of going under/Have risen up and can’t be found.” From there he breaks into the chorus singing, “love, hate, pride bottled up inside/let it go/gonna let it go!/I’m feeling superhuman/I’m invincible, I’m bulletproof/I’m on a revolution/I’m invincible, I’m bulletproof/Don’t you know I’m bulletproof?” All said, it’s a great defiant, full throttle, adrenaline pumping anthem that tells would be bullies they won’t hold anyone down. It’s the sort of anthem to which every listener can relate.
‘Bulletproof’ is only one of many positive songs on “Beneath the Scars.” Listeners will also enjoy songs such as: ‘That Changes Everything’, ‘I’m With You’, and ‘Only Human.’ These tracks add that much more enjoyment to the album. They’re only part of what makes this album so enjoyable. One of the biggest highlights is the explosive arena anthem, ‘Psycho.’ It’s one of those songs that will undoubtedly become a major hit of the band’s live shows. Mccoy sings to audiences, “Join me if you dare/’cause we’re gonna leave the rest behind/I’m feelin’ so alive/losin’ all control/I can feel it in my soul/We can finally let it go/Everybody’s going psycho!” Psycho here isn’t meant in a bad way. McCoy is just saying he feels great and in turn, has so much positive energy. It’s just a great positive arena rock anthem that will get any fan moving whether at home, at a party, or in the arena. It would be no surprise if this song becomes one of the album’s many potential singles. Any of the songs on this album could potentially be used as singles. It is that well balanced both musically and lyrically.
“Beneath The Scars” is 12 Stones’ best work to date. The only deciding factor in how well this album does is whether or not it gets the support that it deserves from mainstream radio. And that rests squarely on the shoulders of the programmers at the stations nationwide. Regardless of whether or not said programmers give the album its deserved airplay, 12 Stones has made the wait worth it for its fans and audiences in general.
The band is currently out on tour, getting audiences pumped for the release of “Beneath The Scars.” It’ll head through Broussard, Louisiana and Mobile, Alabama this weekend. Next week sees the band resting up in preparation for its performance May 20th at the famed Rock on The Range Festival. Fans in Syracuse, New York will get to see the band live on the 27th. More dates are likely to be announced. And fans who want to keep up with those potential dates can do so online at http://www.12stones.com, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/12stones and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/12stones.