ALBUM REVIEW: 12 Stones – Picture Perfect

Louisiana-based Christian post-grunge/hard rock group 12 Stones returned recently with their first album since 2012, releasing Picture Perfect about a month ago. Yeah,  we’re a little late on this one, but for the sake of transparency, the email containing the album got lost in our inbox and we missed it back in July. So here we are with our review of the band’s new album, a month late and a few dollars short.

Picture Perfect features 14 songs, many of which exceed my old, biased expectations of a Christian band. Okay, so I grew up listening to Creed. Sue me. Of course, 12 Stones are not a Christian band in the traditional sense. What they are is a rock band with Christian undertones and some lyrics referencing aspects of religion, so they’re basically a rock band that happens to love Jesus. Nobody’s perfect, but Picture Perfect makes them close to it with tunes like the album’s opener The Killer and the title track to the album, Both are solid hard rock songs, while Memphis is a little slower but hard nonetheless.

And then there’s Nothing To Say, which starts out almost as a ballad before getting slightly harder past the halfway point, which adds a nice change of pace to Picture PerfectLerlene is very similar to Nothing To Say, and then there’s Hello Suicide, which is an acoustic number that is very slow, but still very good. Anthem for the Underdog is my favorite tune on the album, it’s hard, it’s in-your-face and it makes a statement. It’s too bad it’s right at the end of the album, it definitely could have been higher, but with so many good songs, does it really matter?  The album’s swansong is We Are One, and it’s a fitting way to end an exceptional album.

I remember back in the day when we had a real rock station here in NYC and could hear new music. We don’t have that anymore, and not a lot of stations on streaming services play bands like 12 Stones. That’s a shame, because it means I didn’t get to hear Picture Perfect sooner. In fact, I probably would have never heard it at all if it didn’t make its way to my inbox. It’s a good thing it did, because it’s absolutely worth the listen and I really wish I hadn’t missed the initial email before the album came out in July. This review would have been better served coming out a month ago, but if you haven’t already picked up Picture Perfect, you should go do that.