The Heavy Alternative
Rap/Rock fusion has come a long way since the days of Beastie Boys and Nu Metal. Instead of relying on superficial aesthetics or using production tropes as a crutch, Californian hardcore band SET SIGHTS has tapped into the heart of each genre to create compelling music that fans of either category will enjoy. Vocalist, Maro Abdelmola advocates that “both hardcore and hip hop are about bringing people together; they’re positive movements” so when it comes to their own music, SET SIGHTS strives to represent “a collective for anyone who wants to be bigger than themselves.”
The band formed when drummer, Griffin Werk and bassist, Jay Chua consistently crossed paths with Maro at local shows in Orange County, CA. At the time, the band’s name was Set Sights For South, but was later shortened to portray their ambitious desires. Eventually they got to know one another and Maro was invited to be the band’s vocalist. They began playing every show they could, and quickly attracted audiences with electrifying delivery of their positive message. Since then, they’ve shared stages with notable acts such as Senses Fail, Four Year Strong, and Defeater.
SET SIGHTS announced their signing with Tragic Hero Records in March 2018 and released their debut single, “Rise Above.” The song paints a picture less like da Vinci, but more like how Gallagher would; with nearly uncontrollable violent energy. The portrait is of someone learning to become more empathetic. It starts with the question “Am I content living with a selfishness that tears away on the inside.” Throughout the song the narrator battles with their “jaded” behavior in the past, talking about the “Snake in the grass” that “hatched from my mind.” Comparing this to an earlier line where they let “the skin shed from my mind to show all I can be” tells the listener metamorphosis can be as simple as a change in perspective. The narrator will no longer blind them self to their narcissistic behavior. Instead, they will aim to be a better person and Rise Above. In June of 2018, SET SIGHTS released a visualizer video for “Planted” and in September of 2018, released their debut full-length album, The Heavy Alternative.