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SETBACKS – ‘Ocean’s Apart’ Album Review

SETBACKS – Ocean’s Apart

setbacksSetbacks started up in 2015 having recorded and pressed a limited-edition EP titled The New Frontier. This was the prototype to test the waters and see the feasibility of having a band which consisted of five musicians from four different continents! The EP proved a success and using Skype, Dropbox and email, Oceans Apart, the bands debut album, slowly and steadily came together.

With lead singer Aaron Gouldings unique vocal tone, Setbacks have managed to bring together their decades of melodic hardcore punk experience from their previous ventures and combine it to create something oozing that 80’s and 90’s sound they all cut their teeth on (Setbacks members were in bands such as Pridebowl, Low Profile, Wiseheimer, Delayed and Still Thinking)

The album opens up with Zenith where sounds of the ocean waves are overlayed with a guitar solo that is jazzy in tone and style and leads to crushing instrumental rocker that bodes darn well for the rest of the fourteen track album. Too Much Time is rollicking, romp with power chords and fast paced drums supporting the rich vocals – Setbacks channel early Blink 182 with a barnstorming effort!

Absent Minded showcases some melodic punk rock whilst the chunky Remember (featuring Etienne Dionne) powers along full of melody and energy – it’s fast and it’s good like Offspring on speed! On Blood Thirsty the drums continue the pace as the song soars to peaks and descends to brief respites before building again. Stand By Me again begins with a prog rock style guitar and I’m reminded a little of Biffy Clyro albeit a bit more punk rock.

Paul Stevenson guests on Don’t Bully Me, a full on punk rock performance with some intricate guitar work that I loved. Despite the fourteen-track length, Setbacks don’t deliver short songs, most are over three minutes and Victory is another three plus minute classic, almost epic punk rock track.

Oceans’ Apart the title track is a chunky rabble-rouser whilst No Regrets is infused with a more aggressive vocal treatment and a more raw sound throughout. Setbacks go full on California punk rock with Just Another Day a track that would not be out of place on a Bad Religion or Pennywise album. The shortest track on the album is Don’t Panic, a breathless punk rock assault and it leads to the longest track, and the album closer, Mind Control where the band produce a melodic yet powerful effort with twists and turns throughout – it’s a super conclusion to a super debut!

Get the Ocean’s Apart by Setbacks here: https://morningwoodrecords.bandcamp.com/album/oceans-apart