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Album: For the Win (2007)

Artist: 12 Cent

Label: Olde Tyme Productions

Where available/price: Interpunk.com for $8. Music Trader in Pacific Beach for $8.

Songs: 1) FTW! 2) 1231 3) Meat Rent 4) Vital Organ 5) Boner City 6) The Party Song 7) We’re a Bunch of DICKS 8) Motorcycles 9) Smell My Knee 10) He’s Rocked! It’s All Over!

Band: Dan (bass, vocals), Tom (guitar, vocals), Pete (guitar, vocals), Bispo (piano, vocals), Brian (drums, vocals)

Website: 12cent.com

“No one is as sensitive to perceived slights as tough guys.” — Sam Sheridan, A Fighter’s Heart: One Man’s Journey Through the World of Fighting.

In a genre based on pissing people off, 12 Cent takes it one step further. Dig around for reviews of 12 Cent on punk message boards and you’ll see a lot of references to “mall punk,” “Cali-core,” and “crap.” The “punkier than thou” crowd disapproves of the band’s recent inclusion of a piano and harmonized vocals. Good thing most “hardcore punks” are angsty, teenage, illiterate, nose-picking mouth-breathers, barely fit for running a coffee machine.

12 Cent’s collision of rough three-chord rock with twangy, sometimes honky-tonk piano feels almost illegal and blasphemous, which is of course what punk is about. Their Boston accents and raucous shouting brings a party mood. Eleven rip-tearing tracks totaling 28 aggressive minutes (filled with imagery of beer, sex, and stinky couches) agitates even the worst of attention deficits.

The DIY production includes screw-ups, outtakes, and recordings of bar crowds drunkenly chanting (some loving accords, some hateful epithets), which is punk perfection…someone should tell the “hardcores” that it’s not about holding hands and agreeing.

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