Sound — 9
Set Your Goals has had two major releases to their name: their 2006 EP 'Reset' and the widely praised 'Mutiny!' Both came from their former label, Eulogy Records, and after a long battle with the label, the band has signed to Epitaph Records and released 'This Will Be the Death of Us.' The title of the album alone shows that Set Your Goals is here to stay. The album begins with the title track 'This Will Be the Death of Us' which combines fast moving punk beats with catchy guitar riffs to create the perfect opener for the album. The song also features Vinnie Caruana, of I am the Avalanche and The Movielife, on guest vocals, which make a perfect addition to the conclusion of the track. The album continues on showcasing the band's solid punk sound with a hint of pop. One of the highlights of the album would be 'The Fallen, ' an anthem the band wrote in response to their problems with Eulogy Records and shady record labels in general. The song is a perfect example of Set Your Goals' music style, including fast moving power chords with a stand out lead guitar part accompanied by a punk drum beat. The song also showcases the band's duel vocalists and gang vocals. If you want a place to start with Set Your Goals, definitely start with 'The Fallen' and go from there. The song transitions smoothly into follow up track 'The Few That Remain,' featuring Hayley Williams of Paramore. The song is one of those songs that reads 'radio single' featuring it's memorable chorus, riffs, and guest vocalist spot. Hayley Williams definitely pushes this track into the spotlight of the album, venturing from her traditional pop punk vocals to almost rapping in the song. Another stand out track of the album is 'Gaia Bleeds (Make Way For Man).' The band's anthem for the Earth is their heaviest song yet, possibly opening a door for the band to write more heavy songs. The song features heavy guitar riffs, lots of bass drum, and guest vocals from Turmoil's Jon Gula. The album features a short instrumental acoustic guitar track ('Arrival Notes') that shows off the band's ability to write something that is completely different from their traditional style. 'Arrival Notes' fades into the album's closer 'Our Ethos: A Legacy To Pass On,' the perfect ending to the album. The song is heavily inspired by 90's skate punk, featuring a fast punk beat with power chords. The song really sums up the album as a whole, and also features a great guest vocalist spot from New Found Glory's Chad Gilbert. The band really pulls through with this album, improving upon 2006's 'Mutiny!' with more complicated guitar riffs and a more improved sound overall.
Lyrics — 9
Set Your Goals features duel vocals from Jordan Brown and Matt Wilson. Both singers have different vocal styles that sync up perfectly with each other. Their vocals really have a pop sound with a punk push behind it that really make the band what it is. The band's lyrics also really make this album what it is featuring lyrics about the music business, thinking further into life as a whole, and why they are in a band and do what they do. The songs really reflect the band's troubles with their label and contemplating if making music is really what they needed to be doing with their lives. The band's unique lyric styling really stands out in a music scene of songs about broken hearts and falling in love. The band really pushes what they live for through their lyrics, and listeners should respect that from this album.
Overall Impression — 9
In a music scene of cookie cutter pop punk bands that some might say are trying to 'make it big,' Set Your Goals really stands out. Through this album (and their past works) you can really tell that the band is pushing for the love of music itself. 'This Will Be the Death of Us' features the band's unique pop punk style that stands out in this era of music. If you aren't a fan of bands like Fall Out Boy or All Time Low, maybe you should give Set Your Goals a listen, because they are definitely a stand out band in this scene. With their catchy guitar riffs, punk drum beats, and duel vocals, the band shows off a style that is rare in this music scene. 'This Will Be the Death of Us' is sure to please the ears of anyone who tries it out.