Settings - Platinum
Record Label: Uppercut
Release Date: August 29, 2009
Settings has long been one of those bands that confuses many. Despite their usually solid music (which can be described as an electronic-infused pop-punk sound), impressive achievements (which include being featured on both MTV and MTV2, and choice slots on both the Vans Warped Tour and at Bamboozle Right), and massive hype train they still remain unsigned. With the release of this EP, entitled Platinum, the band finds themselves a little overconfident, a mistake which could cost them their hype train.
As a follow up to two excellent EPs (2007's Elusion and 2008's Elusion Extended), Platinum has some big footsteps to follow in. Unfortunately, when put in their shadow, it doesn't add up to much. Despite having a strong opening in "Use You" (which features a fist pumping guitar part, a catchy chorus, and subtly textured underlying electronics that make it, arguably, one of the best songs Settings has written to date), the EP begins to disappoint with "Do It Again." With a boring intro and uninspiring verses, the song's only saving grace is its unbelievably massive, addicting chorus. "Kill the Urge," despite better verses, has its impact fall a little flat when it becomes clear that its chorus borrows (both musically and lyrically) from the Elusion Extended track "Find Your Place." "No Mystery" features bass work that vocalist Donny Evan's voice works beautifully over in the verses, before coming to prominence in the chorus with the backing of the entire band. As the song evolves into more traditional pop-punk fare, it keeps its punch, and stays a solid song throughout. "Just a Lie" opens with a great synth line, and carries a darker, heavier tone not seen earlier in the band's career. Lyrically, it is among their darkest material to date ("What's the point of standing still? Waiting wounded for the kill"), and (ironically) defines itself as the light of hope for the band's future after a largely disappointing effort.
Overall, this EP is a disappointment. Though it could be an average effort from a less talented act, the past gives testament to the fact that this band merely reach their potential on this effort. Despite some shining gems (namely, "Use You" and "Just a Lie"), the EP mainly falls flat. Though the future could potentially still be bright for Settings, their light won't be able to burn much longer if they keep on putting out half-hearted EPs like this one.
Note: The track listing provided in the review is based upon the disc's hard copy; the iTunes listing may vary.