“Full of loud guitars, unrestrained performance, and heart-on-the-sleeve sentiment, The Twelve AM has crafted an unabashed rock record that would do Messrs. Westerberg and Rogers proud.”
The Twelve AM is a band possessed by rock n' roll. The kind fueled by electric guitars and adrenaline. The kind you don't hear much on the radio anymore.
The Connecticut band is a three piece concoction of driving bass, drums, and guitar. Think Buddy Holly and the Crickets on Red Bull and Marshall amps. Or Motorhead playing power pop songs.
The Twelve AM formed in 2018. Soon after, the band set to work recording their debut album, Pretty Noise, which features ten hook-filled tracks from singer-songwriter Chris Champagne that the band bashed out over the course of several weeks. The album was recorded "Exile On Main Street style, loose and raw," as drummer Lee D'Ambrosio puts it.
The band's songs are like fireworks - exploding in rhythm, burning out bright. Raucous guitars and pummeling drums propel a mixture that is equal parts power pop classicism and high-octane attack. But underneath the upbeat performances lie songs with heart, a defining characteristic of the band. As Champagne acknowledges, "I've always been drawn to that contrast, that dynamic as a writer. We dress these songs up with big chords and attitude, but they're pretty naked if you look close."
The Twelve AM's loose, guitar-driven sound calls to mind bands like The Replacements and Gaslight Anthem. Their live shows are always an event, punctuated by a ragged yet energetic performance that bassist Steve Michels says is pure rock n' roll.
Pretty Noise was mastered by Brad Blackwood at Euphonic Masters in Memphis, Tennessee and was released on Red Electric Recordings on January 18, 2019.
"The title of the album itself serves as an apt (if minimal) description of the sound. It’s a noisy kind of alternative power pop with delightful melodies and occasionally romantic undertones.... What’s notable to me about this album is how dynamic the songs are. Every song on the album seems to have its own musical personality. There are indie bands out there who end up putting out 20 albums which may never come close to being as good as this."
"As we come to the end of the year, Pretty Noise is an unexpected late entry to my albums of the year, well, it would be if I indulged in such overt commercialism. It seems to touch base with so many scenes and eras from 60’s garage bands to 70’s excess to 80’s commercialism to 90’s alternative and on into the alt-rock and indie movements of today. But more than that this is a band that write great songs, have a distinctive sound."
"The Twelve AM goes for a raw, unhinged boisterous indie pop with “Pretty Noise”. Appropriately named, everything about “Pretty Noise” rushes things forward in a pitch-perfect way. Hooks are aplenty while the Twelve AM draws from the aughts indie pop scene, allowing multiple layers of sound to intermingle in the most perfectly balanced way. Everything about the album has an infectious, joyous quality to it.... Best listened to at the highest possible volume for maximum impact."