Ears Wide Open: The Active Set


Talk about perfect timing for an album release. L.A. band the Active Set has cautiously released two singles over the last couple of years, but they’ve been waiting to present “11” on just the right date – which is today, Nov. 11, 2011. Their debut also consists of 11 tracks which offer a diverse sound palette that will please fans of new wave and ’80s post-punk (albeit sometimes tinted by some tropical rhythms). Matthew Stolarz, Wayne Russell, Francis Ramsden, and Michael Castro also dabble in a bit of electronica as synthesizers weave in and out of guitar riffs on songs such as “Best Summer Ever.” However, “Sea Legs” is the standout track as it embraces heavier rock at its core with dueling guitars that roar and gently subside only a few measures from the end. As Stolarz sings “So far / I’m still looking to the land,” one can’t help but think how it foils Frightened Rabbit’s “Swim Until You Can’t See Land.” Nonetheless, there is a familiar yearning for some place else. The Active Set is a sharp contrast from Stolarz’s days in the Briggs, but the punk undertones should imply that his past isn’t too far behind him when former fellow band member Jason LaRocca has lent a hand in production on this record.

||| Download: “Sea Legs”


||| Watch: If you’re into zombies, check out their video for “Famous For Dying” after the jump.

||| Live: The Active Set celebrates the release of “11” tonight at Redwood Bar.