Killset’s Sophomore Album Will Leave Aggro-Rock Fans Making Plenty Of Noise

Courtesy: Scratched Records

The wait is almost over.

After nearly two years of touring and crafting new songs, Killset will soon release its sophomore album S.T.F.U.  The ten-song, 43-minute record is a solid new effort from the independent Southern California-based band.  That is evidenced through arrangements that will appeal to fans of Limp Bizkit, Taproot, Staind and other agro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s and through lyrical content that will move listeners just as much as the songs’ musical arrangements.  The album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit’ is just one of the songs included in this record that supports that statement.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ supports that statement in its own way, too.  ‘Animal,’ with its fiery arrangement and equally powerful lyrical content, also supports that statement, and is hardly the last song to support that statement, too.  The album’s proudly defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its follow-up ‘Bully’ are two more examples of what makes this album a success for its targeted audiences along with the rather interesting cover of Kris Kross’ ‘Jump’ and the brooding ‘Not A Love Song,’ which comes late in the record’s sequence.  Between these songs and the pieces not noted here, the whole of this record is sure to have its target audiences *ahem* making plenty of noise.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.

Killset’s sophomore album S.T.F.U. is a work that is certain to leave its target audiences making plenty of noise.  That is due to musical arrangements and lyrical content that echo influences of so many of its aggro-rock ancestors.  This is evidenced in part through the album’s lead single ‘Killers in the Pit.’  This song’s musical arrangement is full on aggro-rock and will appeal directly to Limp Bizkit fans from start to finish.  That is thanks to a guitar and drum line that clearly echo influences from Wes Borland and John Otto and a vocal delivery from front man Luca that just as quickly conjures thoughts of Limp Bizkit front man Fred Durst.  Bassist Mark Baker can’t be ignored here either as he provides an equally infectious low-end line, adding even more impact to the song’s musical arrangement.  Whether one openly admits to being a Limp Bizkit fan or keeps the band as a guilty pleasure, that overall infectious arrangement is in itself proof of what makes the song and the album a success for Killset’s key audiences.  The same can be said of the song’s lyrical content, which delivers a boldly defiant message about music’s power to heal.

The lyrical content of ‘Killers in the Pit’ delivers a powerful 1-2 punch that hits listeners just as hard as the song’s musical arrangement.  That is because it stands up against the stereotypical statements about anger management, showing that the power of aggressive music is just as pivotal in mental health as so many other outlets, if not more so.  Luca sings in the song’s opener, “So first they say to count to 10/Now f*** that/Then they say just take a breath/F*** that/Oh, you can be happy/just take these pills/Now f*** that/We’re done with your pills and your chemi-kills/F*** that/They will no longer control the way we choose to find our peace/We’ll show the world how we get down.”  He goes on to say in the song’s second verse, “If you love standing up for what you believe, say hell yeah/If you love being part of this beautiful scene, say hell yeah/We do what we do/We say what we mean/If you believe/That God believes, say hell yeah.”  Don’t mistake that statement for the band being some Christian rap/rock outfit.  But it is one more positive statement from the band.  When that statement is joined with the rest of the song’s lyrical material, the whole is a statement that will resonate with any listener.  The addition of the song’s musical arrangement adds to that impact even more, showing why this song helps to solidify S.T.F.U.’s appeal with Killset’s fans.  The combination of those two elements makes ‘Killers in the Pit’ just one example of what makes S.T.F.U. in whole a work that will appeal to Killset’s fans.  The brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ is another example of what makes this record a work that will appeal to the band’s key demographic.

‘Killers in the Pit’ is a work that shows clearly both musically and lyrically why S.T.F.U. will resonate with Killset’s key fanbase.  That is evidenced through the combination of the song’s infectious, aggro-rock arrangement and its proudly defiant lyrical content.  Even with this in mind, it is not the only song included in this record that serves to show what makes this record appealing to certain audiences.  ‘Broken Angel,’ with its brooding yet powerful musical arrangement and lyrical content, strengthens the album even more.  The song’s piano-centered arrangement starts off gently, eventually building until it reaches its climax in the song’s bridge.  Opinions may vary in comparisons, but this critic’s own comparison leans toward similar works from the likes of Staind, Linkin Park and other (again) aggro-rock acts from the late 90s and early 2000s.  That is not a bad thing, though.  Once more, it shows a very directed aim from the band in crafting the song’s arrangement.  As with ‘Killers in the Pit,’ it is just one part of what makes the song important to discuss.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here.

The lyrical content at the heart of ‘Broken Angel’ is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement not just because of its content, but the depth that it adds to the song when set alongside that brooding arrangement.  The song’s subject sings through Luca here, “All your perfect imperfections/The chaos in your mind/You’re tortured/Neglected/Beautiful inside/Your heart has a melody/It only speaks to me/Your smile so perfectly hides the pain…I can see your suffering/Your eyes/Angel/Unto me you are the blessing that I would never change…don’t give up/Don’t give into the pain/Before you’ve had the chance to truly spread those wings/So pure/You’re broken just right for me.”  This song is full on teen angst, with one person saying to the emotionally scarred love interest, “I understand you, etc. etc.”  It’s uplifting.  There’s no denying that, but the almost goth style angst expressed lyrically is the kind of thing that will definitely appeal to a very directed audience, especially when it is joined with the song’s equally brooding musical arrangement. The pairing of the two elements makes clear why this song is one more way in which S.T.F.U. will appeal to Killset’s key fans, and is still not the last of the songs included in the record to do so.  ‘Animal’ is yet another of the record’s songs that shows what makes this record appealing to Killset’s key collective fans.

‘Killers in the Pit’ and ‘Broken Angel’ are both key examples of what makes S.T.F.U. a record that will certainly resonate with Killet’s key audiences.  That is thanks to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical content.  While both songs are clear highlights in this, the band’s sophomore album, they are not it’s only standout songs.  ‘Animal’ is yet another example of what makes this album another success for Killset.  As with the previously noted songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement is a straight-forward composition that is driven jointly through the work of guitarist Dave Comer and drummer Jason “Jas” Dillon.  Dillon solidly keeps the song’s up-tempo 4/4 time signature moving even as he works his musical magic.  Comer’s guitar line helps keep the song moving just as much with its straight forward approach.  That partnership creates a solid foundation for the song’s arrangement that is strengthened even more through Luca’s vocal delivery and Baker’s bass line.  All things considered here, the straight forward rock arrangement presented here easily could hold its own with so many arrangements from the band’s mainstream counterparts.  It is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Animal’ is just as important to note as the song’s musical arrangement because it comes across as taking on one’s inner proverbial demons.  That is inferred as Luca sings in the song’s lead verse, “All these voices/Play in my head/So much noise/I’m coming unglued/Just ignore them/That’s what they said/But if only they could hear them, too/I’m so sick I’m about to freak out…can’t get ‘em out now.”  This contemplation continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse with the subject admitting seemingly to a love interest that he has some serious issues to deal with.  It almost comes across as a song that, in its own way, takes on the issue of domestic violence.  That is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation, so it should not be taken as the only interpretation.  When this is set against the song’s driving arrangement, it shows even more why this song is another important addition to S.T.F.U.’s body.  When the whole of the song is joined with the previously discussed works and the other songs not noted here, the whole of the album proves to be a solid new effort that is certain to leave listeners making their own noise.

Killset’s sophomore album is a very directed effort, with musical arrangements and lyrical content that is certain to resonate with the band’s targeted audiences.  That is evident  in the defiant, fist-pumping anthem ‘Killers in the Pit,’ the more brooding yet uplifting ‘Broken Angel’ and the powerful seeming commentary on domestic violence of ‘Animal.’  All three songs show three very distinct arrangements separate of one another but that are still very much within a specific musical continuum. That is evidenced just as much in the likes of the album’s defiant opener ‘Get Up’ and its equally powerful anti-bullying follow-up, ‘Bully.’  Even in the band’s playful take on Kris Kross’ classic hit ‘Jump.’ The band sticks to a certain musical era and audience here and in the rest of the songs not noted here.  Each work shows in its own way to be important to the record’s whole.  All things considered, they show, once more, that S.T.F.U. is certain to leave listeners making plenty of noise beginning July 7.  More information on S.T.F.U. is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/_KillSET_

 

 

 

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Diverse Field Of Acts Makes Up 2015’s Best New Independent Albums List

Yesterday, Phil’s Picks kicked off the countdown to the year’s end with the first of its year-ender “Best Of” lists. The first of those lists was the list of the year’s best new EPs. Today, we move away from EPs to full-length records. In today’s list, Phil’s Picks presents its list of the year’s Best New Independent Albums. Just for clarification, Independent does not necessarily refer to albums released by unsigned acts. It also includes albums released by acts signed to independent labels as compared to the major labels (Capitol, Warner Brothers, etc.) This was anything but an easy list to compile. That is because there were so many deserving acts this year including the likes of the independent rock act Rubikon, Americana act Sugarcane Jane, and even legendary musician Carlos Santana’s son Salvador Santana just to name a few. Topping the list this year is Washington, D.C.-based electronic/hip-hop act Fort Knox Five with its new album Pressurize The Cabin. As with yesterday’s list, this list also features the top ten new titles as analyzed by Phil’s Picks. That list is followed by five other albums that receive honorable mention. Having said that why don’t we jump right in? In the second day of the Phil’s Picks year-ender countdown we have the year’s best new independent albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW INDEPENDENT ALBUMS

  1. Fort Knox Five – Pressurize The Cabin
  2. Pimps of Joytime – Jukestone Paradise
  3. Salvador Santana – Fantasy Reality
  4. Brooklyn Funk Essentials – Funk Ain’t Ova
  5. Sugarcane Jane – Dirt Road’s End
  6. NYVES – Anxiety
  7. Holy White Hounds – Sparkle Sparkle
  8. Rubikon — Delta
  9. Buzz Cason – Record Machine
  10. Sea of Storms – Dead Weight
  11. Dubbest – Light Flashes
  12. Radiodrone – The Truth Syndicate Diaries
  13. Better Off – Milk
  14. Killset – Know Your Killer
  15. Twinsmith – Alligator Years

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Unsigned Rock Band Displays Great Potential In Its New LP

Courtesy:  Killset/Yvonne Laughlin

Courtesy: Killset/Yvonne Laughlin

Up and coming hard rock outfit Killset’s new full-length studio recording Know Your Killer is one of the more intriguing records to be released so far this year. The eleven-track record is such an intriguing effort in that coming from an unsigned and obviously relatively unknown act, it presents the band as a group that has great potential being right at the start of its life. This is obvious right from the album’s opening track ‘My Whole Life.’ The brooding rocker presents interesting influences from the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Deftones, and others of their ilk both musically and lyrically. ‘Forget You’ is another of the album’s more notable moments. That is thanks to its mix of metal and industrial influences in regards to its musical content. Examining its lyrical content, its no nonsense message is one that is certain to connect with audiences. The combination of both elements make this song one that could easily hold its own against any of its more well-known hard rock brethren given the chance at any of America’s mainstream rock radio stations. ‘A Better Way,’ the disc’s penultimate composition is one more of the album’s most noteworthy moments. That is because it shows a side of the band. That will be discussed later. Getting back on topic, all three of the songs noted here are in their own manner prime examples of the potential exhibited by Killset in its new album. That is not to discount any of the album’s other songs. The trio noted here are just the works that this critic felt best represent the band in its new album. All eleven songs together come together to make Know Your Killer a record that any lover of hard rock should hear at least once.

Know Your Killer is a good first effort from Killset. That is because throughout the course of its eleven tracks and forty-eight minute run time the band shows great potential for the future. This is obvious right from the album’s opener ‘My Whole Life.’ In regards to its musical content the song bears a striking resemblance to the Deftones’ hit single ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ in the song’s verses. That is thanks in large part to the work of guitarist Dave Comer. The song’s chorus boasts more of a similarity to songs crafted by Breaking Benjamin. The combination of both influences makes the song quite the interesting listen. Front man Luca’s vocal delivery style adds to that comparison to Breaking Benjamin especially through the song’s chorus in which his subject sings about his life essentially being broken and torn apart. His subject speaks to an unnamed figure to “tae my whole life” and that “there’s nothing left inside.” It obviously is hardly the happiest song. But who hasn’t been at that low point in life in which one feels so hopeless? Even this critic has felt that at times. it is part of the human condition. The band is to be commended on being able to translate that mix of emotions that run through a person in such a mental state. That ability to translate such emotions both lyrically and musically shows exactly why this song is one of the album’s key moments in presenting the band’s potential. It is just one example of the band’s potential, too. The much harder rocking ‘Forget You’ is another example of just how much potential the band presents in its new album.

‘My Whole Life’ is a good introduction to Killset and an equally good example of the potential displayed by the band throughout the course of Know Your Killer. It is just one example of what makes this unsigned band’s new album worth at least one listen by lovers of hard rock. On another level ‘Forget You,’ which comes later in the album’s sequencing, is just as good of an example of the band’s potential. It is such a good example of the band’s potential primarily through the attention paid to the manner in which the song builds both musically and lyrically from its opening verse up to its chorus. The song starts soft and somewhat brooding both in regards to its musical and lyrical content and proceeds to build to its point of climax in its chorus in which Luca sings (yes, sings), “It’s over now/Even after everything that we’ve been through/You say/It’s over now even after everything that we’ve been through/It’s over/For the longest/Time we’ve known it’s/Over now even after everything that we’ve been through.” Considering the vitriol expressed in just the chorus one might expect lots of screaming. But Luca doesn’t take that route. Instead he limits the screaming to only two words, “It’s Over.” And even then he only goes that course one time. He doesn’t do it every time. It is a nice change of pace considering how easy it would have been for him to take that easy road. the level of fire and emotion that is exhibited by the time the song reaches its chorus is maintained and even built more as the song progresses through its second verse, bridge and final chorus refrain. By the song’s end, Luca and his band mates–Dave Comer (guitars), Mark Baker (bass), and James “Jas” Dillon (drums)–leave listeners breathless with the pure emotion put on exhibit throughout the song. Considering that the song is clearly about a broken relationship–this is proven in the song’s bridge as Luca’s subject sings, “I gave you everything/Did you even love me/Forget you/Was anything even ever true/Forget you/You’ve taken everything/You took it all and didn’t even love me/Forget you/It wasn’t true/Forget you/We’re through”–that slow boil approach taken by the band here both musically and lyrically shows clearly why ‘Forget You’ is such a strong example of the band’s potential. For that matter it is a clear example of the band’s readiness for the radio already. Even as impressive as this song proves in comparison to Know Your Killer’s other songs, it is still not the last example of the band’s potential presented in the album’s body. ‘A Better Way,’ the album’s penultimate composition, is one more example of the potential exhibited by Killset in its new album.

‘My Whole Life’ and ‘Forget You’ are both good examples in their own right of the potential exhibited by Killset in its latest full-length studio recording Know Your Killer. What makes it such a standout song is its stark stylistic difference from the rest of its counterparts that make up the body of this record. Whereas the album’s other ten songs feature their own share of fire and energy in regards to both their musical and lyrical content, this song takes another route, exhibiting a much mor ereserved, brooding sound and vibe. If ever there was a song on this album that exhibited the influence of the likes of Breaking Bennjamin and other similar acts, this song would be that one composition. Drummer James Dillon and guitarist Dave Comer serve as the foundation for the song that lyrically seems to center on a conversation between a father and his son. The father, it would seem, is feeling a certain amount of regret possibly for having not been there and being the father that he should have been. That could be entirely wrong. but Luca notes in the song that the song’s subject that this was someone older talking to his son, even using the word “son.” That is inferred even more as Luca sings in the song’s opening verse what coudl only be the son talking to his father saying to him, “I know you felt ashamed/Of all that you’ve been through/You tried to hide your face/On that night/Saw you/I know you were embarassed/So deep in your disease/I know you were not perfect/But you were there for me.” As brooding as the song’s musical content sounds, it becomes emotional in a wholy different manner in hearing these words being sung. It’s like the son is saying to his father, “I know you’re only human and that’s okay. You were still there for me despite everything. Thank you.” Considering the song’s chorus in which Luca sings of the supposed father figure singing about drinking, it can be assumed that the disease to which the son refers might be alcoholism. And the father knows it has killed him emotionally, mentally, and physicall, which is why he seems to have such regret. That mix of emotions would account for the depth of the song’s musical content in whole. And both elements together make this song one that is just as solid as any of the album’s other tracks (both those noted and not directly noted). It is one more example of the band’s potential given the right support from the nation’s mainstream rock radio outlets. All eleven tracks together prove Know Your Killer to be, once more, a record that every hard rock fan should hear at least once. In hearing it even just once, those listeners, too will agree that Killset does in fact have potential that deserves to be given at least one chance.

Know Your Killer is a good first record from the men of Killset. It is an album that presents Killset to be a band with great potential; potential that makes the band worth at least one chance by the country’s mainstream rock radio stations. That is exhibited most clearly through the album’s opener ‘My Whole Life,’ the much heavier yet equally emotionally powerful ‘Forget You’ and the deeply moving ‘A Better Way.’ All three songs prove this argument in their own right. They are only three examples of that potential, however. Know Your Killer boasts nine other tracks that listeners may argue are examples in their view, too. That being the case and regardless of which track(s) listeners connect to most, it can be said of Know Your Killer that it is an album in whole that exhbits great potential for Killset; potential that could make it one of the next big names in rock’s mainstream realm. Know Your Killer is available now and can be heard online now via the band’s ReverbNation website at http://www.reverbnation.com/killset. More information on Know Your Killer is available online now via its ReverbNation page and its official Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/killsetofficial.

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