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CD REVIEW: Theset - The Philosophy of Time Travel
By Francesco Emmanuel - 03/06/2006 - 09:14 PM EST

Artist: Theset
Album: The Philosophy of Time Travel
CD Review: Theset (pronounced 'The Set") hails out of Victoria, BC. They've been around for nearly two years, and have released their debut indie album entitled 'The Philosophy of Time Travel.'

I had to get through a serious time delay (months to be precise) in reviewing this CD, so my apologies. That being said, the minute I popped this group's first effort in, I was sold. Very nice production, a solid, kicking album from the get go. Moody piano intros and warm guitar tones, solid drumming and a fantastic singer, all wrapped up in one as Theset. The guys take their roots from the Emo/Screamo/Punk movement of late, but I hear more than that. I hear a good rock band writing great songs that stick in your head.

From the first note of the second track, 12.34, I knew this singer had a range, and man does he?
Lead singer Martin Mcphail can carry a bitter-sweet melody, scream, hold a falsetto note out as long as possible, and then growl, all in one song. Now, thats just the second song, I haven't even reached the rest of the album.

The title track, The Philosophy of Time Travel, starts off ever so meek and humble such that it seems it's gonna be a mellow number, but wait no, it kicks into one crazy, off-timing sorta beat, courtesy of drummer Tristan Tarr. Mcphail phrases his singing around the timing, screaming and all. I would love to see this guy live, he sounds as if any minute he might burst a blood vessel (on the last verse of this song, oh boy, watch out!) and yet, he can bring it back to a decent, nice, peace-loving level. Something pop folks can enjoy let me tell you!

Guitarmen Jory Mackay and Elliott Carter lay on some thick riffs, backed by consistent basslines provided by Dean Rode, and mix it all up with some pretty interesting lead licks between chord changes, no major solos, but still all very tasteful. The timing changes within songs break any chance of monotony setting in.

Perhaps for me, the best song on this record is Hooks for Feet, the chorus has such an infectious riff that combines twin lead notes with chords, switching between F and D, low on the fretboard then high-up. Great idea. There's a lyric in this song that just gets me, it goes 'Everything living dies alone'. The last time Mcphail sings/screams it, you can honestly feel your gut twitch.

Most songs here do give the occasional detour to utter musical mayhem, then it's back to 'normal' again.
The group's bio said they formed this lineup just from jams, and decided to write songs for one set, hence their name. I get the feeling that their unto something more though, more than just a one time thing. It's something veterans and young musicians alike can respect.
Hopefully we'll see and hear more of Theset in time to come. Keep it ups guys. Well done.

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