Friday, July 1, 2011

Set Your Goals - Burning At Both Ends

Set Your Goals have always been the brocore band that I could just never get into. The way everyone talked about their album Mutiny! would make you think that God herself got into the genre and decided to shit out an album. But, to me, it just sounded like some dudes who like Simple Plan and New Found Glory a little too much decided to shit out an album. That being said, I didn't really know what to expect going into this review.

The beginning of the album doesn't do much to pull me into it. I wasn't finding myself very interested until around the third track "Certain". It sounded like Jesse Lacey circa 2001 formed a pop punk/hardcore band. This song is pretty catchy, and the one dude's high pitched singing definitely works for it. The vocals don't sound as processed as they did on Mutiny! either. This song is followed by "Happy New Year", which also reminds me a lot of the songs off that other album I keep mentioning. I mean, it kind of sounds like the metal half of a rap-metal band fused with the singer of an 80s melodic hardcore band. It gets very awkward and arena rocky towards the end of the song. I mean, maybe this is what SYG fans crave. But, it's not really what my ears crave.

"London Heathrow" starts off as a Fall Out Boy song and turns into a New Found Glory song. Actually, it sounds a lot like songs Handguns have already put out. It also reminds me a lot of that one band All Set. This is another one of the songs on the album that I actually like though. It's not as original as many of their songs actually can be, but it's really infectious and enjoyable. Oh, now I know what it sounds like..."Bada Bing! Wit a Pipe!" by the bearded brothers in Four Year Strong. This reminds me, I'd much rather be listening to Rise or Die Trying, despite not being a big fan of that record either. But this album sounds like some sort of homage to it. I have a feeling these bands have been kind of borrowing shit from each other all along. I'm surprised SYG haven't deepened their voices and rasped up their yelling yet.

What I've noticed with this record is that it sounds a bit theatrical. Is that a thing with Set Your Goals? Are they creating some sort of brocore musical in the future? It's actually a nice aspect to the album. "The Last American Virgin" is another Four Year Strong song. What's going on here?

The next Mutiny! style song on the album is "Exit Summer". It's also a really enjoyable song. The issue here though, is that most of the album is in a different style than these Mutiny type songs. It's almost like the band is aiming to head in a new direction, but are stuck with occasionally having to pander to their fans. Or hey, maybe just a couple of the members really don't want to go away from this style.

"Unconditional" is probably one of the songs I'll actually listen to again after I'm through with reviewing this album. It's catchy, which I think is a given with these bands, and it has a lot more going on with it. I mean, it's like a mix between their older songs and this new style I feel like they're diving into. The guitar solo is very classic rock and kind of sounds brilliant over the hardcore infused instrumentals accompanying it. This song is of course followed by a Brand New song as performed and written by SYG, slyly titled "Product of the 80s". Actually, a few lyrics in I realize this is just "1985" by Bowling For Soup. What the fuck?

There's not really anything beyond this point worth mentioning about the album. The last song is actually pretty good, though. But it's followed by like 13 minutes of silence and some dumb shit at the end. It's basically a big fuck you to any fans wanting to listen to the record on repeat. So, I guess they don't really want this song to be included in that whole process.

Overall, it's not a terrible album. But also, overall, it's not a great album. There's some worthwhile songs thrown into it, but it's surrounded by a lot of stuff that I couldn't care less for. I sometimes give albums ratings, so I'll do it here. I'd say like a 2.75 out of 5. Not bad.


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