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L.A. Unheard: The Active Set's jittery rock

November 15, 2011 | 10:53 am

The-Active-Set-600

The band: The Active Set, a high-energy Los Angeles quartet.

The sound: On the Active Set's debut full-length, "11," the group bristles with cymbal-heavy rhythms and dagger-sharp lead guitars. Of the band's post-punk influences, L.A.-obsessed Brits the Wedding Present have given the most generously; with their sour vocals, respective frontmen Matthew Stolarz and David Gedge could be dissatisfied distant cousins. But the album showcases an array of styles across its 11 tracks, offering glacial intensity on slow-motion anthem "Sea Legs" and of-the-moment electronic drums and synthesizers on "Counting Out Your Life." 

The random: Stolarz previously played bass with L.A. punks the Briggs; Briggs brothers Jason and Joey LaRocca helped record the Active Set's debut EP, with Jason returning to mix the full-length. The band got an assist on album art from Joe McKay, who also crafted the cover of Broken Social Scene's "Forgiveness Rock Record."

The details: In case you missed the album release in last week's calendar-pocalypse, "11" fittingly dropped on Nov. 11.  

The music: Download "Famous for Dying" below and hear the record in full on Bandcamp.

MP3: The Active Set -- "Famous for Dying"

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L.A. Unheard: David Shane Smith's transmutable pop

-- David Greenwald

Photo: Rock quartet the Active Set. Credit: Mike Smith/Generic American Photography

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