Summer Picks

MiMi Yeh

Imagine a backlit, devilishly sexy woman, two errant guitarists flexing their musical muscles, a drummer pounding away with fast-moving hands that are a blur, and a white-eyed bassist who ventures into the crowd. Meet 12:06, a band that defies definitions by playing a mix of metal, rock, and alternative. Versatile enough to cover several genres while remaining strangely unique, such that no category can aptly describe it.

Their first album, the self-titled debut 12:06 describes an abusive relationship from the female perspective. Dark, haunting, screaming, and unnerving are some of the many words to describe it. I had a chance to see them at the Rockpile, a club located in the Palace Complex, where WAAF sponsors local talent played live every Friday Night. Traci O’Connor, lead singer and front-woman, alongside guitarists Jon Burnham and her husband George, drummer Shawn McHatton, and bassist Kyle Kidd are the members that make up odd stylings and seductive melodies that are 12:06. It was a nice change of pace to be able to hear and understand the lyrics to the songs of a band. Most of the time, the bass overwhelms any sense of melody due to poor sound system setups and the only thing you walk away with is a headache.

I encountered the album last summer and finally broke out the CD during a thirteen-hour flight to China, going from Detroit to Osaka. The boredom had been wearing on my nerves and I needed a distraction from the constant pressure that was threatening to push my eyeballs out the front of my skull, so I changed music and was instantly awakened. It’s the first time in a while that I’ve stopped whatever I was doing and just listened to an album with my full attention.

While some parts can be a little heavy the album flows fairly smoothly, bolstered by sounds similar to Pink Floyd, Nine Inch Nails, with a little bit of the sexy, full-bodied huskiness of Shirley Manson thrown in. Their website,, offers the web surfer a chance to listen to four songs off the album and buy directly from the artists. Take a moment to listen and discover the voice from the dark that is 12:06.