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Set It Off - Horrible Kids EP Album Cover

Set It Off - Horrible Kids EP

Reviewed by
6.8
Set It OffHorrible Kids EP
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: June 14th, 2011
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Set It Off's debut EP, Calm Before the Storm, took obvious influence from Fall Out Boy and All Time Low when it was released back in 2009. While decent, it was fairly forgettable, but still showed signs that the band could go beyond mediocre hooks and synth pop. The vocals were pretty grating and for pop-punk, the songs weren't really all that catchy. Instead of just rehashing old material like plenty of other groups in the genre, Set It Off improved on their sound and almost dropped the cheese pop act entirely with their follow-up EP, Horrible Kids. Produced by Mercy Mercedes' Brandon Ham, his presence is definitely known, as he adds his touch from what makes Mercy Mercedes a pop-rock band to model after.

The eight track effort relies heavily on a theatrical theme as opposed to the previous bouncy pop-punk. Think in vein of Panic! at the Disco's first album but without the wit. It's not a knock by any means, considering Set It Off does a much better job with this style than what was done on their first EP. However, at times, some of the tracks feel a bit forced, like their goal was to get a deal with Rise Records (and if so, they would still probably be one of the best on the roster).

Songs like the single "@Reply" push that theory further into place, which is evident solely by its Twitter referenced title. It just tries too hard to capture a specific fan base with its screams and frantic chorus, and comes up a bit short. Luckily, the tracks "Ashley's Song" and "I Think It's Arrogance" help shape the EP into showing off Set It Off's strong points, which is improved vocals and musicianship. Horrible Kids isn't completely riddled with carnival-like elements though as "Third Wheel" is filled with horns and the closer "Missing You" is reminiscent of early Mayday Parade.

Set It Off aren't reinventing any wheels with Horrible Kids, but they're not snapping off the axles either. While it's generally an enjoyable EP from start to finish, the schizophrenic nature of the tracks made it feel like more of a compilation of studio cuts than a fluent collection of songs. Regardless, after not caring for Calm Before the Storm, Horrible Kids is a pretty fun surprise. With inevitable label support and a solid idea of the direction they want to go in, I'm sure their debut full length can be something worthwhile.

Additional InformationTrack Listing
01) Breath In, Breathe Out
02) End in Tragedy
03) Ashley's Song
04) @Reply
05) Horrible Kids
06) I Think It's Arrogance
07) Third Wheel
08) Missing You
Produced by: Brandon Ham

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 17
03:01 AM on 06/17/11
#2
birtcho
is...
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I'll have to check these guys out
04:26 AM on 06/17/11
#3
Jat
Where you been?
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The cover art looks kind of just like the one on Put Up or Shut Up..
05:52 AM on 06/17/11
#4
cwhit412
don't ask
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I used to enjoy these guys. I remember when they had nothing but a song clip up.
Probably won't like this now, but I may check it out.
07:38 AM on 06/17/11
#5
Frosty
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I don't really dig this, I think they sacrificed catchiness for theatrics, and the result is 7 songs that sound the same. I really enjoy Missing You though, definitely reminds me of early Mayday Parade.
11:06 AM on 06/17/11
#6
roche
You think a pirate lives in there?
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That @reply song really pisses me off.
12:37 PM on 06/17/11
#7
kemppettyjohn
Pilot Jones, Pilot Jones
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"o-m-g look at me"
04:51 PM on 06/17/11
#8
CrewysLane
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the EP is very good. fans of fall out boy and the spice girls will like it.
06:34 PM on 06/17/11
#9
StephenYoung
dumb
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I'm not sure what I think of the music, but these dudes are awesome. Nicest band I've ever played with.
06:02 AM on 06/18/11
1000shadesofred
Period Blood Sandwich
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little harsh with the criticism, but you are quite accurate when you say they didn't do anything surprisingly original with this album. It is definitely a fun release and combines all the elements of many other bands I love. It's like a giant combo of Panic!, FOB, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Envy on the Coast.
01:26 PM on 06/19/11
circasuicide
drowning in a kelp bed
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cody carson is a fuck
03:19 PM on 06/19/11
Noble.au
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Going to explain that or just going to throw it out there?
08:09 PM on 06/19/11
circasuicide
drowning in a kelp bed
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Going to explain that or just going to throw it out there?
when he and his band were just starting out(as in they hadn't even had a practice yet) he was already full of himself and he felt entitled to a record deal based off of singing with all time low at a show. he begged his 'fans' to email fueled by ramen and a few other labels and tell them they had to sign his band. when i told him he needed to pay his dues and tour and make a few ep's before even thinking of a label he went off on me.
08:45 PM on 06/19/11
njsuccessstory
The '59 Sound
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when he and his band were just starting out(as in they hadn't even had a practice yet) he was already full of himself and he felt entitled to a record deal based off of singing with all time low at a show. he begged his 'fans' to email fueled by ramen and a few other labels and tell them they had to sign his band. when i told him he needed to pay his dues and tour and make a few ep's before even thinking of a label he went off on me.
So I guess you set him off.
12:03 AM on 06/22/11
Croggs
No I will not make out with you
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So I guess you set him off.
I don't know anything about this band, Cody, or why I am even reading comments in this review, but that's a solid reply.

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