by Griff Stevens
12 Stones has been given the green light from the hard-rock Christian music community for over fifteen years. Although they are not “officially” a Christian band, 12 Stones feels its purpose is to play positive music that can connect with both Christians and non-Christians. Picture Perfect is the bands fifth studio album and their first with Cleopatra Records. The line-up currently consists of: Paul McCoy (vocals), Eric Weaver (guitar), David Troia (bass) and Sean Dunaway (drums).
“The Killer” starts with a heavy guitar riff that immediately signals that Picture Perfect is going to be serious about its rock roots. McCoy’s voice is pure unadulterated rock. His low register singing is attitudinal and has a growl that sends shivers up your spine, all while his upper register is strong and the lyrics are easy hear and understand. The lyrics are always pointing to positive directions even though the subject matter may be dealing with life challenges. Weaver’s guitar solo delivers a rock message with a sweet and short message of bends and quick lines.
“Blessing” is 12 Stones at their best, rhythmically driving, distorted guitar, a strong hook, and a melody that is memorable. To boot, McCoy’s vocals soar on this one, with enjoyable harmony parts supporting him during the chorus. Weaver delivers a killer guitar solo, this makes this track hard to beat. This is the 12 Stones we have grown to love, and its executed to perfection.
“Nothing to Say” is built around a semi-distorted arpeggiated guitar figure that provides for an opportunity for McCoy to show a slightly softer side of his singing. He still has plenty of power is his vocal presence, but it is a nice variation. The lyrics are again positive and speak of getting through difficulty by seeking help from others. The twelve-eight feel of the song is a nice change of pace and Weaver’s guitar solo is melodic and builds around the melody neatly.
Overall, rockers and fans of 12 Stones will find plenty of enjoyment in this goodhearted rock album. 12 Stones is not breaking ground with Picture Perfect, but that is what makes them a great band, they are consistent in their music and you can count on songs you can enjoy. I also give it high marks for rockin’ a positive message, seriously, how cool it that!
Tracks to sample first: “The Killer,” “Blessing,” “Nothing to Say” and “Picture Perfect.” The song to take a chance on is “Time.”