For Fans Of
I didn’t mind Set Your Goals debut album ‘Mutiny,’ it was aggressive punk rock that had the right kind of attitude. I was not a fan of the follow up ‘This Will Be The Death Of Us,’ as I didn’t feel that there was any progression and it lacked the elements that I enjoyed about the first record. Now back with their third album ‘Burning At Both Ends,’ the band have landed somewhere in the middle of their previous releases.
From first impressions it is clear that Set Your Goals have focused more on making an “album” album with tracks that flow well and are themed similarly, which shows a sense of maturity and planning that one would hope a group had achieved by their third record.
Opening track Cure For Apathy sounds like it would have fit perfectly on the first album with its pop-punk sound, garnished with a little hardcore. It is clear that the group have advanced in their song writing techniques but have also moved forward sonically, refining their sound. Tracks like Happy New Year show the band’s maturity in a different way, lyrically, as the songs seem to speak of more adult problems and have a fairly dark and serious undertone despite the energetic pop-punk feel of the music.
The pop melodies and hooks that the group have always made a feature are still very much alive in songs like Trenches and Exit Summer two stand outs that are easily the most memorable moments of the record. The playful Product Of The 80′s is one of the more unique moments of the album, thanks in part to the funk influenced bass line which carries the song. The record ends with the big Not As Bad, a stadium sized wall of sound which leads to a strange and fun little bonus track.
There are plenty of moments throughout the record which are fairly un-imaginable and a little too stock standard however they are made up for by solid all round songs and a real step forward in song-writing maturity. As far as the Set Your Goals catalogue is concerned ‘Burning At Both Ends’ is up there as one of the best.
1. Cure for Apathy
2. Start the Reactor
4. Happy New Year
5. London Heathrow
7. The Last American Virgin
8. Exit Summer
10. Product of the 80’s
12. Illuminated Youth
13. Not as Bad