12cent - Bastard Music (Cover Artwork)


Bastard Music (2002)

Olde Tyme Productions

Flatfoot Mike

Reading this right now, you may be asking yourself "12cent!? Who the fuck are they!?". Well, 12cent is a band from Whitman, MA that's been around since 1995, and has never stopped rocking. So why have you never heard of this band? That's a question I ask myself all the time. I guess sometimes true greatness is not always recognized. However, 12cent is probably one of the most loved bands in South Shore Massachusetts, and they even managed to get a spot on the Warped Tour (the first spot, actually. Playing on the Ernie Ball stage for a small crowd of people. I missed their damn set). Okay, so I just went on and on about who the band is. Let me get to the damn album.

"Bastard Music" is without a doubt, one of the most punk rock albums I've ever heard. The songs echo Minor Threat and the early days/2000-era Rancid. My favorite track would have to be "Sox", because it's so incredibly manic, sung by the drummer, Scotty. Here's a sample lyric (actually, pretty much the only lyrics aside from random yelling): "Socks! I love the smelly socks! I throw 'em at the cops! Bust 'em in the chops with my smelly socks!" At their shows, 12cent explains that Scotty wrote this song when he was 16. This kind of juvenile wildness is another thing that makes 12cent great. Two of the songs on the album, "Frankie's Bike Is Cool", a song about absolutely nothing, and "Fight", a song about both fighting assholes and being losers (but not without lyrics like "What's right? Got no lyrics, but that's okay. What's wrong? Still no lyrics to the song"), appeared on the 1997 EP "Working Without Class"; an album that I own, and can proudly state that it is one of the most insane albums I've ever heard.

Many of you might be thinking "these guys sound like morons." Well that may be true, but that doesn't mean they can't write great songs. Tracks like "Metal", "Slater" and "The Irish Song" show how talented they are when it comes to writing music. Just because they write immature lyrics it doesn't mean that they haven't matured musically. If you compare "Bastard Music" to any of their previous work you'll know what I mean.

All in all, my favorite aspect of 12cent would have to be the fact that everyone sings, and they all have a defineable voice. When some actually coherent singing comes through, you know that it's Dan. And when it sounds like the singer is piss drunk, you know it's Tom. This album introduced 12cent fans to the new guitarist: Pete Egersheim, former drummer/guitarist/singer of the Suburban Rejects. He brings a little TSR flavor to all the songs (Two TSR songs, "Whadayameanwhatdoimean?" and "TV Land" actually appear on the album, reworked in classic 12cent fashion), and now him and Tommy can play off of eachother.

So yeah, it's a great album and you should go out and get it.