Reviewed by Mark Plummer

Every now and again, a release can come along that helps to reignite some form of nostalgia, from a time that held a lot of special memories. Whilst Set The Record certainly don’t have a longevity to boast of (yet), their EP, Above The World, serves the purpose of transporting listeners back to the sort of releases that belong in the Drive-Thru Records catalogue; so high praise from the offset.

Beginning with Real, the maturity of a well-balanced release is immediately apparent; the focus is not on being a brash, loud, and in-your-face record, rather, tendering the need for a quality that is severely lacking in this modern-day and age. The drums in particular are fantastically balanced all around the kit, breathing life into the crash and ride cymbals. Then there are the wonderful tones of a well recorded acoustic guitar before a sweet bell hit and Real is back rolling again. Just before the final chorus kicks back in, there are a flurry of vocals that come accompanied by the drums making a name for themselves, out up front. There is so much included in just the opener, Real, that it comes as a surprise when the next track, starts up. Rather than wanting to listen once more to the quality that just one track manages to somehow hold and release in just a few fleeting minutes, each track is strong and encourages the listener to peruse further into this EP.

Whilst All Time Low and You Me At Six comparisons could easily be attributed throughout this collection of tracks, there is a definite trademark that the band seem to adopt helping to ultimately keep this release rolling through the numbers. The variations in musical talent that crop up throughout are subtle, yet striking; from the straightforward, yet effective, guitar solo in Right For Me; to the bell strikes in the chorus of You Can’t Keep Up; and the vocal fluidity between the main vocal framework and that of the background vocals during Make You Smile; it’s the mood changes in Alive that really showcase the bands awareness for musicianship. Creating a heavier approach during the bridge, before leading into a pre-chorus that sees a chord change not so much associated with this genre, but amounting to a truly pleasing experience.

To sum up: this is an easy listening, but ultimately fun release; infectious to the last note and offering up a performance that is both solid, and professional. Whether you want to rip apart each track and dive down to the deepest depths, or are not concerned with the detail, rather just wanting a great summer release, Above The World should easily appeal to both and not let down on either account.

5 out of 5

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