Set Your Goals – This Will Be The Death Of Us

setyourgoalsdeathofusArtist: Set Your Goals
Album: This Will Be The Death Of Us
Genre: Heavy Pop Punk
Label: Epitaph

FINALLY! After years of waiting and a label change, the release of Set Your Goals’ follow up to Mutiny, entitled This Will Be The Death of Us is finally upon us. On July 21st the record will be unleashed to the masses, but UTG has been throwing down to this extremely catchy and pleasing release since early June and we’re pleased to finally bring you our thoughts on it.

When we last left SYG, they had completed a record in which nearly every song ran directly into one another [near flawlessly] and one seemingly long and defiant tale of youth emerging into adult hood was told. A few years and many miles later, SYG has a lot on their minds to share with us. Starting strong with the title track, the band reminisces on their pasts and how they can to the point they’re at now. The dueling vocals of Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown have never sounded stronger or more realized than they do here. In addition, we find early on that, following many member changes, the musicianship of the group is on a new, heavier level than ever before and in the long run, it’s this sound that makes the record.

Mutiny found the group writing incredibly fast tracks that often struggle to break the two minute mark, but that’s not the case here. Only two tracks are on the short end and both are very well placed interludes near the beginning and end of the record. The rest runs in the three and even four minute range which really gives us a sign that the group has grown and taken more time to craft truly great sounding and structured songs.

“Look Closer” will surely be an early favorite for old fans as it discusses why so many people adhere to the social norm. It’s extremely catchy and well structured, but nowhere near the top of the crop for this record. That belongs in the hands of “The Few That Remain” and, “Gaia Bleeds [Make Way For Men].” “The Few” has a near hip hop edge to vocals with straight pounding drums and chugs that sync up with your heartbeat and pull you deeply into the track. Add a catchy chorus and a straight rap appearance from Paramore’s Hyiley Williams that’s accompanied by strong gang vocals and you have an instant classic. In a completely different way, “Gaia” radiates as the band’s heaviest track to date. Anyone who’s streamed the track on the band’s Myspace is sure to notice the strong instrumentation that makes you want nothing more in life than to crank the stereo and throwdown ASAP. It’s simply riveting.

In addition to these tracks, “Summer Jam” shows the group expanding a bit into a hip hop vocal style as well as painting very vivid pictures of moments throughout the life of SYG. Also, as if anyone had to ask, the closing track, “Our Ethos: A Legacy To Pass On,” really stands out, not just from the record, but from the scene in general. It’s a classic SYG style in terms of delivery, but the flow and lyrics continuously pummels their way into your body. Also, there’s a great appearance from New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert that really sends the record over the top and ends it on a near perfect note.

Three years is a long time for any music fan to await a new record, but luckily Set Your Goals have made it worth the wait [and then some]. This Will Be The Death of Us is a grown up battle cry to not conform to the norms and to live your own life. The progression of SYG from Mutiny to now is simply stunning in every form [lyrics, structures, melodies] and I have no doubt that this album take the band to a higher level of popularity. Unlike most, SYG didn’t have to sell out or change to better themselves. They put a lot of effort and work into making an album that can radiate with audiences of all ages and it shows throughout. If you want an album that will outlast Summer 2009, heck, 2009 in general, look no further than This Will Be The Death of Us.

Score: 9.25/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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