Review of Duality by Set it Off


Set it Off released their sophomore full length album, Duality, on Equal Vision Records today, October 14. The Tampa, FL based quintet takes on a more pop sound in this release but keeps their strong cinematic feel. Duality shows the strong musical abilities of everyone in the group to take on a new style with grace and ease while still maintaining many of the elements that have built the strong and faithful fan base they affectionately refer to as the SIO Family. While the record may take some getting used to for some seasoned Set it Off fans it is certainly worth giving it a fair chance because it’s sure to grow on listeners. The album features guest vocals from Jason Lancaster, former frontman for Go Radio, and label-mate William Beckett.


“The Haunting” kicks off the album with a title that would seem fitting for those who are familiar with Set it Off as will the first 30 seconds or so. It starts out very eerie and showcases the vocal abilities of frontman Cody Carson from the first note. As it continues the pop element to the album becomes apparent and more pronounced while the eeriness takes a backseat but does not disappear entirely. The next song on the album “N.M.E.” premiered early and was very well received by new and old fans alike. This song also maintains the cinematic elements that have always been a big part of Set it Off’s music but certainly takes a stronger pop sound than they have previously recorded.

The first song to really stand out as something very different and creative for the group was “Forever Stuck in Our Youth”. This is one of the strongest songs on Duality and is sure to be very well received by fans. It has a very fun and party like feel with the emphasis on being young and not growing up. “I don’t owe an explanation, we’re young, we’re dumb and we don’t care” are lyrics that certainly give off the party vibe that is so popular in music and culture today. This song will certainly draw in new fans to Set it Off as they are expanding their horizons and reaching a broader spectrum of interests, sounds, and topics while retaining the skill and command of the music that they have worked hard to define and sharpen over past releases.

“Why Worry” was the first recorded song fans got a glimpse of as a clip ran during the AP music awards. It was a short clip, which built anticipation and hype for the album because it portrayed a completely different style from what fans were used to musically. It also showed that some things will never change with Set it Off; the energy and passion for music that has always been evident in every aspect of Set it Off’s music from recorded work to live performances has remained a staple for the group.

The energy and enthusiasm remaining no matter where they take their sound was also demonstrated with the song “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” which features William Beckett. Set it Off played the song all summer on their co-headlining tour, the Come Alive Tour, with Our Last Night. It was reassuring to see that the passion and love for music was not going anywhere. “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” is very catchy from the first lyric through the very end. Classic children’s stories are twisted into the dark and more amusing version as Carson sings and distorts them to fit his purpose. The story behind the story of people not being who they present themselves to be and telling stories to fit their own selfish needs is sure to be one that fans across genres can identify with and relate to. “Tomorrow” is the next song on Duality and also features guest vocals. On this track Jason Lancaster, formerly of Go Radio joins Set it Off to sing an uplifting and inspiring song about looking to the future and what tomorrow brings. Positivity and good vibes make the track stand out as “Tomorrow” addresses people that will try to take away from one another and how they do not control the future. This optimistic and lighthearted song demonstrates Set it Off’s varied lyrical interests.

Set it Off will be on the road this fall with Black Veil Brides, Falling in Reverse, and Drama Club on the Black Mass Tour playing a mix of new and old songs! Be sure to catch them on tour and pick up a copy of Duality today!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


Photos by Chris Martin:

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