Artist of the day: Set It off
It's a big day for the Tampa Bay music scene, as Set It Off, a popular young pop-punk band from Tarpon Springs -- and a former tbt* Ultimate Local Artist -- will release Cinematics, their debut album on a national label, Equal Vision Records.
From the opening action-movie salvo of Thoughts That Breathe, Cinematics shows a marked expansion for the band, a blend of baroque horror-punk and bombastic glam-rock cranked way, way past 11. Instead of a band reared on All Time Low -- which they are -- Cinematics makes Set It Off sound like a group that wakes up every morning to My Chemical Romance's Welcome To The Black Parade. ("I am a circus freak, cut out my heart, cut out my heart," Cody Carlson sings on Freak Show.)
The album is densely operatic, layered thick with spiralling horns (Plastic Promises), crescendoing drumrolls (Dream Catcher), tinkling pianos and chimes (Dad's Song) and moaning cellos (The Grand Finale). You can practically envision a giant curtain dropping to reveal the band before every song. Anyone curious about what a local band can do with major-label support should check it out. It's perhaps as grand and theatrical an album as any Tampa rock band has produced.
The band played some Florida dates over the weekend, but you'll have to wait a few more weeks to see them back in Tampa. On Oct. 7, they'll perform with There For Tomorrow and other bands at the Orpheum in Ybor City. Tickets are $15. Click here for details.
And, bonus: For every copy of Cinematics sold during the album's first week on sale, Set It Off will donate $1 to VH1's Save The Music Campaign. Click here for details.
Photo: Gage Young