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:
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