Set It Off Welcomes Fans To ‘A New Era’

Natalie Dest, Art and Entertainments Editor

American rock band, Set It Off, is calling their newest album an “introduction to a new era,” coming after a three-year hiatus. Released this past Friday, Feb 1., fans were welcomed with their fifth album “Midnight,” a record of anticipation and high expectations.

The Florida natives past release of album “Upside Down” back in 2016 continued to build the band’s name and success from fans alongside the likes of Falling In Reverse, Simple Plan, Black Veil Brides, State Champs and As It Is.

Signed to Fearless Record, the four-piece-band has had its fair share of controversy all the while working alongside successful bands, becoming the faces of Alternative Press, covering the likes of Ariana Grande and working with All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. However, between the time of their past album and now, there have been whispers from the band regarding a release of a comeback album and fans have finally been given the piece of work they have been expecting.

As for 2019, vocalist, Cody Carson, Guitarists Dan Clemont and Zach Dewall and Drummer Maxx Danzinger are mixing up their style with a true electric collection of catchy toe-tappers that are layered with the universal Pop Rock formula. “Midnight” is a 15-track collection that aims for boldness, guitar-driven ambition and a glossy, electronic foundation that makes you want to dance.

Produced by Mike Green [who also produced 5 Seconds of Summer and Neck Deep], fans are given a record that is something yet to be seen by Set It Off.

Kicking off the album is “Killer in the Mirror,” an ear-demanding track that is one familiar to Carson’s comfortability in vocals. It is one of the band’s most faithful throwbacks to their earlier days, yet has a darker groove than typical.

This song is a fitting choice for landing the first spot on the album, with continuous driving guitar riffs leading to an empowering chorus.

“Hourglass” follows with the band unleashing an intriguing blend of sonics that combines into something that is edgier than what Set It Off typically produces. The track almost feels like a strut, with a funky-pop chorus that gives you the urge to get up and sing the lyrics.

With the simple yet addictive guitar line opening up the track “Different Songs,” something is immediately different to the ear. The vibe of this song definitely contrasts when compared to the previous two.

With a simple electric guitar line lying under Carson’s vocals, the song builds to an explosive chorus that is unexpected. Drums meet both the vocals and accompaniment while Carson sings the lyrics, “Cause now we’re singing different songs, forgetting how to sing along together / When every note comes out so wrong, it keeps on getting harder to remember.”

“For You Forever” feels like an 80’s inspired style, one of the album’s definite standouts with potential as a single. This synthpop track contains Set It Off’s infectious Pop Rock, making this song a personal favorite.

“Go To Bed Angry” is a notable track, especially due to the feature of band Wayfarer’s lead vocalist Katie Cecil’s wispy voice. Cecil’s singing matched with Carson’s is a delicate compliment, with both vocals laying on top of each other naturally.

This song is a sweet number that gives the record more mature material, while the two sing the lyrics, “Let’s not go to bed angry, taking back everything I said / Baby let’s not do this, baby I don’t wanna go to bed angry.”

Following “Go To Bed Angry” is “Midnight Thoughts,” the first single off of “Midnight.” This track is one of the albums most rock-inspired songs. The electric guitar is prominent in this song and serves as Carson’s right-hand-man.

This track is rather fitting for the album’s first single, showcasing what “Midnight” is truly about; dark, mysterious rock that underlies with the band’s pop-punk echoes.

“Criminal Minds” is one potential crowd favorite, including Carson’s classic sass-driven sourness in his vocals that makes Set It Off unique. The driving drum beats matched with the repeating electric guitar riff lead up to what almost sounds like violins in the chorus.

Carson repeats the lyrics of “No no no no more drama /No no no no more drama / These criminal minds, oh my,” making this track highly contagious.

Following track “Stitch Me Up” is a feel-good acoustic song that was made for stardom. Its universal themes of bruising love fill the chorus, with catchy lyrics that will force their way in your head.

“I Want You (Gone)” delivers something yet to be heard on the record yet; a saxophone solo. Featuring Saxophonist Matt Appleton from Reel Big Fish, this track delivers the brand of sass to delicate pop melodies.

The pre-choruses sax solo gives a surprise to fans, something we do not typically hear from Set It Off songs. It adds variety to the record, even if it may be for 15 seconds or so.

Concluding the album is “Happy All The Time,” a funky toe-tapper. Featuring the band Issues’ Bassist Skyler Acord, this song is one final, triumphant send-off to “Midnight.”

This song is a “one-foot-in-front-of-the-other” feel, with what almost sounds like an electronic trumpet melody layering over the band. This track will make you want to roll down your windows on a spring day, embracing nature and feeling the wind through your hair.

Overall, Set It Off’s “Midnight” is composed of songs that are catchy, seduce the ears and put a smile on the listener’s face. It is clear that their three-year hiatus has done them well.

Set It Off is a staple rock band that include pop melodies that are addicting once you start listening. Rather than flopping, “Midnight” conquered any doubts of critiques and delivered the diverse talents that the band is composed of.

You can now purchase “Midnight” on Apple Music and or stream it on Spotify.