Upon first listening to Set Your Goals’ new, pirate-themed release Mutiny! and hearing the beginning of “Work in Progress,” one might jump to the conclusion that Set Your Goals have completely abandoned their hardcore influences and opted for a more straight-forward pop-punk feel for their debut full-length. However, after about a minute of thinking you’re listening to an acoustic song from a Blink-182 revival project, you’ll be shown that Set Your Goals haven’t completely abandoned their roots.
It’s obvious from the start of the record that Set Your Goals put immense amounts of thought and energy into creating Mutiny! through even the most simple details. The transitions between each song are flawless, especially from “Dead Man Tell No Tales” to “Mutiny!.” The flow of the album is impeccable from start to finish, fitting together like a puzzle.
When it comes to standout tracks, Mutiny!’s got more than you could hope for, especially in the album’s title track. Between the gang vocals shouting “This is a full-blown assault!” and tempo changes, the song, which appeared on a Eulogy sampler along with “To Be Continued...,” is nearly perfect for what it is. “This Song Is Definitely Not About a Girl,”a track about the mis-interpretation of their older song “Latchkey,” exists as an instant favourite with its high energy and fast pace. The album continues to impress with “An Old Book Misread,” the band’s most frank track to date with the lyrics “I refuse to stand for organized crime. Organized crime comes in more forms than one and your God is no exception.” Though the lyrics seem surprisingly blunt for the band, the song’s purpose was to distinguish the fact that no one religion is more important than the next.
“Echoes” wraps up the album in a near perfect fashion. The 4-minute long track ends with a charming, harmonious array of “da-da-da-da”s fading out and leaving you wanting more, and almost hating the album for how catchy it was.
Although they’ve clearly got the pop-punk sound, Set Your Goals aren’t singing about how cute girls are or how much school sucks. They’re tackling selling out, being force-fed religion, maintaining relationships with family and friends, and taking risks in life. The sound may be reminiscent of immature bands, but Set Your Goals project growth and maturity with their words. If you hate pop-punk in general, don't count yourself out from liking Set Your Goals.
Though Matt Wilson’s vocals seem more produced on this release than the demo, it doesn’t really take away from the quality of Mutiny!. The 11-song, 30-minute full-length debut is chock full of feel-good music that is bound to have you singing along after a few listens. No, the instruments aren’t the most amazing you’ll ever hear. No, the lyrics aren’t excessively thought-provoking. But Set Your Goals manage to produce a surprisingly unique sound stretching far beyond the boundaries of pop-punk for all who are able to keep an open mind and don’t take all music too seriously to enjoy, whether your favourite band is Lifetime or Crime in Stereo. And it’s a sound they’re definitely making for the right reasons.
Aye aye, Set Your Goals.