Set It Off’s newest album Midnight starts off running and never fully lets up for the ensuing 15 tracks. Throughout the admittedly expansive work, the band never lose the listener, keeping each song unique-feeling and direct.
On the one hand, their overall presentation gets a massive boost from Cody Carson’s dynamically personable vocal work and vivid lyrics, and the accompanying music most always proves immediately memorable. The band gravitates around a generally upbeat but minimalist rock core, and Set If Off avoid boxes throughout their sonic explorations, using catchy, hip hop-reminiscent beats as easily as they utilize biting riffs and drum patterns.
Their attention to detail and jump outside of boundaries sets their newest effort apart. Taken in its entirety, you’d be hard pressed to find a work that sounds exactly like Midnight, since the band sound refreshingly confident in taking whatever twists and turns they see a place for in their music.
At the same time, their latest batch of songs feels well poised to take off, since they never lose sight of their raw, personal core. On top of the personality-enhancing uniqueness pulsating through the music, Carson’s vocal work feels directly aimed at the listener like somehow, they’re truly experiencing what he and the band went through as they put their inspiration to paper and turned it into Midnight.
Set It Off operate in a unique musical space, serving populations of music fans off the edge of the mainstream but who may not have fully found their own space yet. This association might be most easily demonstrated by their cross-country run on the recent final coast-to-coast Vans Warped Tour, but you can hear this element to their music all the same, and ultimately, their work proves important.
They reach out to fans of anything from pop punk to alternative radio rock to hip hop and give these listeners a chance and space to coexist. Midnight feels like an all encompassing musical experience, not only thanks to its length, but also thanks to the sheer breadth of its sound, themes, and overall apparent ambition, all of which come together strikingly effectively.