Set Your Goals

Burning At Both Ends

Written by: PP on 09/07/2011 06:02:18

Lately I've talked a lot about bands sounding tired and bored on record vs bands who sound like they're bursting from energy on every track. To fuel that discussion further I bring you the new Set Your Goals album "Burning At Both Ends", a record which contains signs of both, but unfortunately, mostly the former. After a few listens you're forced to ask what happened? Previous album "This Will Be The Death Of Us" was, at the time of its release, the very best moshcore / pop hardcore album out there, a massive improvement from their already solid debut album, and it looked like there was no stopping Set Your Goals on their path to mainstream recognition.

But then again, after two successful albums where the second one has already seen a considerable evolution in your sound, the third record is always a difficult one to write. And here's where Set Your Goals have gone wrong; they are trying to be too many different things at once. They've tried to appease the fans of the bouncy and innocent pop punk of their debut album in places. They are also replicating the melodic hardcore-meets-pop hardcore godhood of their sophomore album (see: "Certain" or "London Heathrow"). But at the same time the band are trying to push their sound into a more mature direction, away from the silly (what some call fun-oriented) sound and into one that's more accessible for the radio and easier on the ears.

That move comes at a great cost. The wonderful dual vocal battles and harmonies are drowned underneath maxed out guitars (horrible mixing on a couple of songs), and rarely get the chance to shine the same way as they did on the first two albums. The riffs aren't as energetic and convincing as before, resulting in songs that come in one ear and pass out the other without making an impression. And while the first half of the record might be exactly what you'd expect from a SYG release, it's the second half which sounds awfully uninspired, as if they are lacking confidence in the quality of those tracks. They should be, too, because too many of them sound like dime-a-dozen melodic punk with pop-hardcore undertones. How many bands do you know just from the back of your head who are playing this exact style?

The thing is, Set Your Goals established themselves as the leaders of the genre with "This Will Be The Death Of Us All". So for them to come out and release such an anonymous and generic follow-up is almost embarrassing, like one reviewer put it. I wouldn't go as far as saying that, but "Burning At Both Ends" just doesn't grab me in the same way as all of their previous releases. Lets hope it's just a stumbling stone and their fourth record will be a return to form.

Download: Certain, London Heathrow, Start The Reactor
For the fans of: Four Year Strong, Act As One, Latin For Truth
Listen: Myspace

Release date 28.06.2011

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