Personnel: Jordan Brown (vocals, guitar); Matt Wilson (vocals); Audelio Flores, Jr., Daniel Coddaire (guitar); Mikey Ambrose (drums).
Audio Mixer: Jr McNeely.
Recording information: Salad Days Studio, Baltimore, MD (10/01/2010-03/10/2011); Tree Fort Studio, Los Angeles, CA (10/01/2010-03/10/2011).
Continuing to straddle the line between hardcore and pop-punk, Set Your Goals blend melody and drive on their third album, Burning at Both Ends. This combination of sounds is one that the band has been working on since their inception, and the album makes it clear that Set Your Goals has been hard at work refining that sound, adding a level of polish that other melodic hardcore acts don't often achieve. The core of this lies in their liberal use of infectious singalong choruses and half-time breakdowns that are executed in a way that's precise without feeling restrained, and is the work of a band that is professional without sounding overproduced. While the album is a solid specimen of melodic hardcore/pop-punk, the one major misstep comes by way of "Product of the 80's," which feels more like forced nostalgia than a leisurely stroll down memory lane, cramming the pop culture of the '80s down the listener's throat without even a hint of subtlety. All blunders aside, Burning at Both Ends is an album that has a lot to offer for Set Your Goals devotees, and might even make converts out of the uninitiated. ~ Gregory Heaney