Set Your Goals Burning at Both Ends

Bay Area punks Set Your Goals' sophomore Epitaph release veers away from melodic hardcore and straight into heavy pop punk. Burning at Both Ends has a generally slower tempo and larger focus on melody, which may have old fans shying away while simultaneously appealing to a new scene. "Exit Summer" has a hint of Set Your Goals' original melodic hardcore-tinged sound, but quickly falls short after the first verse. The band channel early Saves the Day and Blink-182 lyrically and structurally, especially with duelling vocalists Matt Wilson and Jordan Brown trading off lines like, "I wanna break things… break rules/I don't do this to fit in or feel cool." Set Your Goals tackle familiar lyrical content (themes of moving on and moving up), but get sidetracked with "Product of the 80's," a pop song that feels more top 40 ("I grew up with David Lee and Tiffany/In love with Billy Jean and terrified of Freddy"). "Certain" is the strongest track, with a faster tempo and tight guitar, including a mid-song guitar break, amidst several hooks and a solid melody. Burning at Both Ends is a step in a new pop punk direction for Set Your Goals. (Epitaph)