Everything Old Is Truly New Again On Set It Off’s New EP

Courtesy:  Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off has only been around for about seven years.  That is not very long in terms of a band’s life span.  Yet in that short time, the band has been quite busy to say the least, releasing three EPs and two full-length albums since its formation back in 2008.  Now only a year after the release of its sophomore album Duality, Set It Off is back again with its fourth EP and sixth overall release.  The EP, Duality: Stories Unplugged is a selection of songs lifted from the band’s second album (released just last year) and stripped down.  Bands recording stripped down, acoustic takes on their own songs (and those of other acts) is nothing new in the music industry.  Considering this it is sometimes difficult to find an acoustic album that really stands out among the crowd in question.  It is safe to say that Duality: Stories Unplugged definitely stands out in this year’s crop of acoustic albums and EPs.  That is because the six tracks that make up the body of the disc actually achieve the goal explained by front man Cody Carson in a recent interview regarding the EP.  It actually presents five tracks that hold their own identity separate from the band’s original compositions.  The sixth track is a never-before-released acoustic composition that boasts an identity all its own.  Because of that it proves to be one of the best examples of what makes Duality: Stories Unplugged stand out both from its “sister” album and from other acoustic albums and EPs released so far this year and in turn proves to be one of the best new EPs of the year.

Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of this year’s best new EPs, hands down.  It is also one of the best new works that Set It Off has released so far into its life.  The six-track disc is such an impressive release in that each of the re-worked tunes featured on this record establishes its own identity apart from the original songs from which they were lifted.  That is most clear in the stripped down, full-on acoustic take of ‘Bleak December.’  In comparison to the original song included in the band’s 2014 album Duality, this song is the polar opposite of that piece.  The guitar line in the song’s original take presents an almost pop punk-oriented sound.  For lack of better wording, that sound gives the original take an almost sarcastic feel.  That is especially the case when that line is set against Carson’s own vocal delivery.  The new, acoustic take, on the other hand, presents a much darker, moodier vibe.  The gentle tones of the piano set against Cody’s own reserved vocal style and drummer Maxx Danziger’s use of a cajon adds even more of a different vibe to the song.  All things considered here, ‘Bleak December’ really becomes a whole new song apart from its original take.  Truth be told it actually sounds better and more fitting with the song’s lyrics in which Carson sings, “Gimme, gimme, gimme the truth now/I promise I can handle it, if you can/Cause you’ve been running from yourself for way too long/So gimme any reason not to cut you out/You’re far too gone/Watch you pretend you know it all/Shift any blame aside/Vending the victim when it sells/How do you even sleep at night as I drive and drive/In that bleak December/You’re just too cold/But I need the answer/Before you’d fold/You would hold your cards inside your chest/I think I drove too far/For that bleak December/And how full of s*** you are.”  The combination of the noted elements makes this take of ‘Bleak December’ a whole new work and makes it just one example of why Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of Set It Off’s best works to date as well as one of this year’s best new EPs.  Audiences can hear the new take on the song for themselves online now at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCdqjeFT3P8.

Set It Off’s re-working of ‘Bleak December’ anchors the band’s new EP.  Thanks to the thought and work put into the song, it stands out as a song almost entirely separate from the song’s original take.  It is just one piece that makes the record stand out.  The band’s re-working of ‘Why Worry’ stands out in its own right, too. While it maintains the same sound as the original take, this full-on acoustic take driven largely by guitarist Dan Clermont’s piano work and drummer Maxx Danziger’s time keeping. Carson’s own delivery style even boasts its own power as he sings, “Have you noticed that you’re breathing/Look around and count your blessings/So when you’re sick of all this stressin’and guessin’ I’m suggestin’ you turn this up and let them hear you sing it/Chin up/Quit acting like you’re half dead/Tears can only half fill how you’re feelin’/Don’t worry be happy baby/Stand up life is too damn short/That clock is ticking/Man up/If ya feel me everybody sing it/.” When the rest of the band joins in on the song’s chorus, there’s still a certain power there, even with the band members’ vocals being pulled back in comparison to what is there in the song’s original take. The end result of the song’s stylistic re-work is a song that is in this case just as good as the original. The musical re-working coupled with the song’s lyrical content makes the song just as powerful and impressive. Both the musical and lyrical content taken into consideration, they make this take of ‘Why Worry’ even more reason that Duality: Stories Unplugged stands out as one of Set It Off’s best recordings to date and one of this year’s best new EPs.

The newly re-worked versions of ‘Bleak December’ and ‘Why Worry’ are two clear examples of why Duality: Stories Unplugged is one of Set It Off’s best recordings and one of this year’s best new EPs. The re-working of ‘Tomorrow’ is one more example of what makes this record such a standout collection of songs. Much like the re-working of ‘Bleak December,’ this composition gives the song an identity almost entirely separate from that of the band’s original composition. Both takes offer a wonderfully positive vibe in their own right both musically and lyrically. But the stylistic approach of the acoustic take makes the song even harder-hitting than the full version presented in Duality. Clermont shines again here on piano. The combination of his talents set against the song’s string arrangements and Danziger’s timekeeping on the cajon give this take of the song an even more emotional punch than the one presented in the song’s original take. That is saying something, too considering that the song’s original take offered its own emotional punch. This take makes the song a full-on tearjerker that will still put a smile on audiences faces because of that punch coupled with its lyrical content. The lyrical content in question goes almost hand-in-hand with that of ‘Why Worry.’ That is because it says to listeners that no matter how bad things might seem in the moment, things will be better tomorrow, thus the song’s title. That is pointed out as Carson sings, “They’re gonna try to clip your wings/Lock you up and make you sing/But they’ll never cage your dreams/So fly away/Cause we’ve got tomorrow/We’re the pages in the wind/We’ve got tomorrow/We’re the tale that lies within/There’s always another day/Another night/A bittersweet blessing in disguise.” He goes on to sing in the song’s closing verse, “Sometimes you’re the spider/Sometimes you’re the fly/Flying towards the sky/Our starting line.” It’s a message of positivity and optimism. That message of hope set alongside the song’s new take makes it one of the record’s best moments. Together with the likes of ‘Bleak December’ and ‘Why Worry’ it makes that much stronger the argument in favor of this record. That is not to discount the other trio of songs included on this record, either. All three of those songs each offer their own share of enjoyment, too. All six songs together make Duality: Stories Unplugged a record that is again, one of Set It Off’s best to date and one that is one of this year’s best new EPs overall.

Duality: Stories Unplugged only runs six songs deep. But that does not take away in the least from the record at all. That is because the re-worked arrangements of the band’s previously released songs give each of the songs in question their own identities separate from the originals. Some of the songs are as good as the originals. Some are better than the originals. Regardless of whether they are as good as or better than the originals, the whole thing together proves to be some of the best material that Set It Off has crafted so far and in comparison to the other EPs out there, one of this year’s best new EPs. Duality: Stories Unplugged is available now in stores and online. It can be downloaded online via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/duality-stories-unplugged-ep/id988237301?mt=1&app=itunes&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 and ordered via Amazon at http://radial.custom.geni.us/StoriesUnpluggedAmazon. More information on Duality: Stories Unplugged is available online along with Set It Off’s latest tour schedule and news at:

Website: http://www.setitoffband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/setitoffband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/setitoff

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Set It off To Release New EP Next Month

Courtesy:  Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off announced this week that it has a new EP on the way.

Duality: Stories Unplugged will be released on Tuesday, June 23rd via Equal Vision Records. The six-track EP will feature fully stripped down, reworked versions of five songs from the band’s 2014 full-length release Duality. It will also feature a never-before-released acoustic piece titled ‘Wild Wild World.’ In anticipation of the EP’s release, Set It Off has premiered the video for the re-worked take on the song ‘Bleak December’ online. It can be viewed now at http://setitoff.merchnow.com/.

Front man Cody Carson discussed what led to the disc’s creation noting that it stemmed in large part from fan demand. “We are so unbelievably excited to present to you: Duality: Stories Unplugged!,” he said. “We have received requests for an acoustic EP for a long time now and we had so much fun putting this together for you.” He also discussed what sets this disc apart from so many other acoustic collections, noting that “It was a huge goal on this EP to not just deliver the songs you already know with the only difference being that it’s on acoustic guitars. We took time to re-imagine some of these tracks. We wanted to name this Stories Unplugged because that is exactly how we look at these songs. These are all tales of different avenues of life we’ve walked down, and you’re along for the ride in a range of emotion and timbre. Thank you for your patience…I’m so glad we can finally provide you with this EP that we are so very proud of.” He went into even more specific detail giving as an example how the band came to its new take on ‘Bleak December.’ In regards to its creation, he said “In our acoustic arrangement of “Bleak December”, we took a more mellow approach and a more somber tone to deliver almost a whole new meaning to the song.” The track listing for Duality: StoriesUnplugged is noted below.

TRACKLISTING:
‘DUALITY: STORIES UNPLUGGED’ EP

1. Ancient History (Acoustic)
2. Tomorrow (Acoustic)
3. Bleak December (Acoustic)
4. Why Worry (Acoustic)
5. The Haunting (Acoustic)
6. Wild Wild World (Acoustic)

Set it Off is currently touring across America in support of Duality and its upcoming EP. It is currently in the midst of the European leg of its tour alongside Decade and Brawlers. Beginning May 28th, it will make its way to Japan for a short string of dates there before returning to the United States on June 19th for the annual Vans Warped Tour. The tour includes a stop in North Carolina’s “Queen City” on Tuesday, July 7th. Fans can check out the band’s current tour schedule below.

TOUR DATES:

Set It Off w/Decade and Brawlers

May 15 Wiesbaden, DE @Schlachthof

May 16 Hamburg, DE @Rock Café

May 17 Berlin, DE @Comet

May 19 Munich, DE @Backstage Club

May 20 Eindhoven, NL @ Dynamo

May 22 Oxford, GB @ Bullingdon

May 23 Leeds, UK @ Slam Dunk

May 24 Hatfield, UK @ Slam Dunk

May 25 Wolverhampton, UK @ Slam Dunk

The AP Tour – Japan

May 28 Nagoya, JP @ Imaike 3STAR

May 29 Nishi Ward, JP @ Socore Factory

May 30 Shinjuku, JP @ MARZ

May 31 Tokyo, JP @ ERA

2015 Vans Warped Tour: Journeys Stage

Jun 19 Pomona, CA @ Pomona Fairplex

Jun 20 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

Jun 21 Ventura, CA @ Seaside Park – Ventura County Fairgrounds

Jun 23 Mesa, AZ @ Quail Run Park

Jun 24 Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

Jun 25 Oklahoma City, OK @ Remington Park

Jun 26 Houston, TX @ NRG Park Main St Yellow Lot

Jun 27 Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

Jun 28 San Antonio, TX @ AT&T Center

Jul 01 Nashville, TN @ Tennessee State Fairgrounds

Jul 02 Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood

Jul 03 St. Petersburg, FL @ Vinoy Park

Jul 04 West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre

Jul 05 Orlando, FL @ Tinker Field

Jul 06 Jacksonville, FL @ Morocco Shrine Auditorium And Grounds

Jul 07 Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion

Jul 08 Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live

Jul 09 Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion

Jul 10 Camden, NJ @ Susquehanna Bank Center

Jul 11 Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Amphitheatre

Jul 12 Hartford, CT @ Xfinity Theatre

Jul 14 Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center

Jul 15 Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake PAC

Jul 16 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

Jul 17 Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

Jul 18 Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

Jul 19 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

Jul 21 Scranton, PA @ The Pavilion at Montage Mountain

Jul 23 Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center

Jul 24 Detroit, MI @ The Palace of Auburn Hills Parking Lot

Jul 25 Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheater

Jul 26 Shakopee, MN @ Canterbury Park

Jul 27 Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Jul 28 Milwaukee, WI @ Marcus Amphitheatre

Jul 29 Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center

Jul 30 Bonner Springs, KS @ Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

Aug 01 Salt Lake City, UT @ Utah State Fairpark

Aug 02 Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center Parking Lot

Aug 05 San Diego, CA @ Qualcomm Stadium Parking Lot

Aug 07 Portland, OR @ Portland Expo Center

Aug 08 Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater

Along with all of the latest tour schedule updates and news on its upcoming EP, Set It Off’s fans can also keep up with all of the latest updates from the band online now at:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/setitoffband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/setitoff

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Set It Off Announces Release Date, Track Listing For New Album

Courtesy:  Equal Vision Records

Courtesy: Equal Vision Records

Set It Off will release its new album this fall.

Duality, the latest full length studio release from Tampa, Florida’s own Set it Off will be released Tuesday, October 14th via Equal Vision Records.  Front man Cody Carson explained in a recent interview the root of the album’s title noting that it has to do with the two sides that each person possesses.  “I’ve always been borderline obsessed with the notion of duality. Something about the juxtaposition of two polar opposites seems so vulnerable and blatantly human to me,” he said.  Everyone has two sides, the side they let people see and the side they hide. In this record I decided to bare exactly who I am and what I go through in my day to day life. Love, heartbreak, sex, alcohol, happiness, sadness, anger, the human experience. I want you to hear this record and experience every human emotion you’re capable of feeling,”

Carson expanded on that train of thoughts, explaining how that thought pattern played a role in hwo the songs on this album came to life.  “It’s not just the lyrical content that represents duality,” he said. “The instrumentals portray it as well. You’ll hear dark, minor verses that transition to bright, happy choruses. Just like our lives, the great involuntary, impulsive non-stop roller coaster ride. I’m sick of fake people and watching them skate by with the idea that it’s okay to put on an act to gain confidence and trust in their peers. Allow me to be the first to tell you this about myself: I am good, I am evil. I am solace, I am chaos. I am human, and that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. Be human with us and show us your true duality.”  Duality’s track listing is noted below.

TRACKLISTING
Duality
1. The Haunting
2. N.M.E.
3. Forever Stuck in Our Youth
4. Why Worry
5. Ancient History
6. Bleak December
7. Duality
8. Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing ft. William Beckett
9. Tomorrow ft. Jason Lancaster
10. Bad Guy
11. Miss Mysterious

In anticipation of Duality’s release, Set It Off teased the album with the premiere of a clip from the video for the single ‘Why Worry,’ which is one of the songs included on the upcoming LP.  That clip can be viewed now here. The band is also currently touring in support of Duality ahead of its release.  It is currently touring alongside Heartist, Our Last Night, and Stages & Stereos.  It will hit the road with Black Veil Brides, and Falling in Reverse beginning October 21st on the “Black Mass 2014 Tour” presented by Hot Topic.  That tour includes a stop at the Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on December 5th.  The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

TOUR DATES:
Set It Off and Our Last Night w/Heartist and Stages & Stereos
Aug 13 Houston, TX @ Bronze Peacock at House of Blues
Aug 14 Fort Worth, TX @ Tomcats West
Aug 15 Oklahoma City, OK @ Conservatory
Aug 16 St. Louis, MO @ Fubar
Aug 17 Nashville, TN @ Rocketown
Aug 22 Boston, MA @ Brighton Music Hall+

+ OLN 10 Year Anniversary Show: Our Last Night and Set It Off w/Class of 92 (Matt Arsenault of A Loss For Words), Heartist and Stages & Stereos

Black Veil Brides w/Falling In Reverse and Set It Off
Oct 21 Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre
Oct 22 Columbus, OH @ The LC Pavilion
Oct 24 St. Paul, MN @ Myth
Oct 25 Chicago, IL @ Riviera Theatre
Oct 27 Denver, CO @ The Fillmore Auditorium
Oct 30 Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
Oct 31 Tempe, AZ @ The Marquee Theatre
Nov 01 Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre
Nov 03 San Francisco, CA @ The Warfield
Nov 05 Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Nov 07 Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Nov 08 Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Nov 09 Boise, ID @ Knitting Factory Concert House
Nov 10 Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Nov 12 Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theater
Nov 14 Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Nov 15 Royal Oak, MI @ Royal Oak Music Theatre
Nov 16 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
Nov 17 Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
Nov 19 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
Nov 21 Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater
Nov 22 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium
Nov 23 New York, NY @ Best Buy Theater
Nov 26 Portland, ME @ State Theatre
Nov 28 Clifton Park, NY @ Upstate Concert Hall
Nov 29 Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore Silver Spring
Dec 02 Louisville, KY @ Expo Five
Dec 03 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Dec 04 Orlando, FL @ House Of Blues
Dec 05 Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore Charlotte
Dec 06 Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa
Dec 08 Grand Rapids, MI @ The Orbit Room
Dec 09 St Louis, MO @ The Pageant
Dec 11 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Dec 12 Dallas, TX @ South Side Ballroom
Dec 13 San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live
Dec 15 Albuquerque, NM @ Sunshine Theater

Fans can keep up with the latest tour updates and news from Set It Off online at http://www.facebook.com/setitoffband, http://www.myspace.com/setitoff, and http://twitter.com/setitoff.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.