Set the Record – Above the World


Album

Above the World

Label

Independent

Year

2013

Genre

For Fans Of

All Time Low - Cute is What We Aim For

Summary

A good, but unsurprising, release.

Rating

70 / 100

Set the Record are guilty of producing ‘same old’ pop punk. However, the pop punk genre thrives on this kind of familiarity, leaving the question of whether ‘Above the World’ is a good old pop punk release or just another that is simply the same, and so, irrelevant?

The finish on this five-track EP is cleverly crafted to have an early 2000s band tinge to it, and often you’ll find yourself thinking– ‘hang on, have I heard this song before?’ Although this is a testament to the band’s ability to create catchy and thought-triggering pop punk, it doesn’t say a lot about their distinctiveness.

Set the Record kick things off with ‘Real’, which introduces a tamed down A Day to Remember meets All Time Low sound. The song becomes a bit overly repetitive in parts, but apart from that, is a good introductory track.

You Can’t Keep Up’ is Veara-sounding at first, and has vocal similarities to Cute is What We Aim For. The song, along with final track, ‘Alive’, are two of the better moments of the EP.

Make You Smile’ is a tad too cliché to deliver Set the Record any additional veracity, but the song does have a noteworthy bridge section, which sounds as if the band have gathered around a lobby piano and are keeping things soft and minimal.

The best feature of ‘Right for Me’ is its drums, which feel larger than the song, they beg for a faster pace and a heavier finish. It’s the closest to straight punk that the band get, and the EP is all the better for it.

Ending things on a good note, ‘Alive’ seals the release with repetitive pop and an (almost) breakdown, followed by a required double chorus. There’s certainly enough here to work with.

Conclusion

‘Above the World’ is a decent pop punk release but it sways more towards the same old than the good old. That is not to say it cannot be enjoyed and appreciated– crafting a good pop punk release is not exactly a simple feat.

Tracklisting

1. Real
2. You Can’t Keep Up
3. Make You Smile
4. Right for Me
5. Alive

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