How have I not heard of Solitary Set? Being they're from my hometown of Baltimore, MD, I'm not sure how I overlooked these guys or have never seen them live. After recently discovering their debut LP and getting a sneakpreview of their forthcoming EP, that will have to change ASAP (assuming they do some touring and play more local shows I hope).
On their new EP "The Series Parallel", Solitary Set capture the emotionally driven indie/emocore of the mid/late 90s, with influences from many of the bands I still listen to today. While bands like Archers of Loaf, Samiam, Knapsack, Appleseed Cast, Texas is the Reason, Hot Water Music, Mineral and Elliot were playing some variation of stuff like this some 20+ years ago, Solitary Set sound equally as current on their new EP, by also incorporating the gritty and anthemic feel of more recent bands like Iron Chic and Red City Radio. The best way I can describe their sound is equal parts 90s midwestern indie/emo/punk and melodic anthemic Gainesville, FL punk.
I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the latest EP and although it's hard to gauge the quality of the production from an album stream, although even the stream sounds pretty damn good (I'll comment on that when I hear this in full quality), I am thoroughly impressed with what I'm hearing so far in the songs themselves. Before I streamed this, I gave their debut LP a few listens just to familiarize myself with their prior material. First off, I highly recommend their debut LP Low and Outside. However, the songs on their upcoming EP sound like a steady progression and more realized vision of what they were going for. Where these new songs may be a little quieter, maybe even a little darker too, they still pack the same punch as their previous efforts, with the same amount of passion, melodic sensibility and emotion, and with even more layers of instrumentation. The songs are full of hook-laiden guitar melodies that are sometimes clean and jangly, and other times thick and distorted, led by Jason Brohm's light rhasp vocal styling, which is likely to please fans of many of the bands I've named above. There is a range of tempos on the record, which prevents the pacing of the album from sounding monotonous, while the low end holds everything tightly together.
Baltimore may have more widely recognized bands like Have Mercy, Pianos Become The Teeth and The Dangerous Summer in our small indie/punk scene, but it's Solitary Set who deserve more recognition. Still a fairly new band, I look forward to hearing more about these guys in the future, and hopefully seeing their fanbase expand when the new EP drops. I still plan on giving this EP a proper listen when it's officially released, and hope to post a more detailed review about the individual songs. Until then, I'll enjoy this sneak preview, perfect for the fall/winter weather!