Churning out a handful of ‘Stories For Monday’, The Summer Set remain true to their name – purveyors of sun-soaked anthems.
The Summer Set’s style changes with the wind. Moving on from the cluttered ‘Legendary’, their fourth full-length string to their bow ‘Stories for Monday’ may drop names and appear somewhat half-hearted but it’s still a keen reminder that there’s talent in this paddling pool.
Unfortunately, the flagrant sampling of The Who’s ‘Baba ‘O’Riley’ in ‘Figure Me Out’ sets things off to a confusing start. With Brian Dales’ modestly versatile vocals, their message is loud and clear – “I just wanna fall in love before I’m dead.” On the other hand, there’s the quirky ‘Missin’ You’ that states there’s no love lost and that moving on is perfectly possible, even in the unforgiving realms of pop punk that produced the disgruntled swagger of ‘All My Friends’.
There’s a clear maturity to the youthful compositions of ‘The Night Is Young’ and ‘When The Party Ends,’ with tinges of the rock-infused intensity formed over their near decade together. With the contagious repetition of ‘Change Your Mind’, however, Brian’s vocals feel weary as if the sparkle’s departed the microphone, true also of the ironically cheery yet tired top notes of ‘All Downhill From Here’. Even so, the free spirit and halcyon sentiment are set aside just in time for punchy closer ‘Wasted’. It’s true, “youth wasn’t wasted on us,” and as the crowd chants make the album’s swansong, the ‘Stories For Monday’ draw to a close not a moment too soon.
It seems The Summer Set will always hold a certain “meh” factor – you can hear it in the exhausted ‘Change Your Mind’ – but this remains a cute compilation of summer-ready tunes for those so inclined to drink in the rays this year.
’Stories For Monday’ by The Summer Set is out now on Fearless Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)