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8 out of 10
.In Color is the first EP released by Arizona's The Summer Set on their new label, The Militia Group. The EP sees the band creating an infectious brand of pop-rock that will no doubt win many them many fans, and deservedly so. The Summer Set are obviously a talented band, they show maturity in crafting a record that taps into current trends without seeming like a blatant attempt to hitch on to the bandwagon. Compared to their more established peers, The Summer Set holds up very well, and they demonstrate the potential to make a big impact in the coming years.
The Summer Set is obviously aware of the things that are selling these days. The use of the dreaded vocoder does pop up in a couple of songs which does detract from the overall appeal of the CD. Yet, while this seems gimmicky the songs themselves are actually well-crafted slices of honest pop-rock. The lead singer has a voice that may turn a few people off, I feel it works well with the music and adds to the youthful appeal this band has. Lyrically they are no Brand New, but compared to a lot of the absolute tosh that is often spouted in this genre they are more than adequate, and there is not a line that feels forced or overly generic.
The EP lasts just over 15 minutes, with no song going past three and a half minutes, and I found that once I had listened to it through I just put it straight back on again. The 5 songs on the EP, from the Sherwood-influenced Seasons, to quite excellent Close to Me, work as a collective as well as seemingly all having single potential. The production on the album is also fantastic, and this EP just screams major label quality. With a sound quite reminiscent of early Cartel, The Summer Set has created an EP that should lead to bigger and better things. If they can ditch the vocoder, and concentrate on creating high-quality pop-rock songs, they will no doubt be a name to watch out for in the future.
1. Cross Your Fingers
3. She's Got Rhythm
4. Close to Me