Review Summary: Infectious from start to finish, Setting the Paces is sure to bring your mood up, but don’t expect to keep coming back to BOAT, there’s simply not enough there.
In high school, there’s a few classes that are usually reserved for seniors. Sure, some people take them pretty seriously, but the vast majority of the class is comprised of students looking for a way to socialize and pass the time while the weather gets warmer and graduation approaches. In my experience, that class was Ceramics I. Though very knowledgeable, the teacher was also very lenient and forgiving, and a cool guy to talk to. Basically, it was a way for seniors to gather round and reminisce about the weekend for an hour, with some great music in the background, and maybe even spin a pot or two here and there. Needless to say, not a whole lot was learned, but we all had a great time. I apologize for the extensive metaphor, but BOAT’s Setting the Paces
is a great example of fun without substance. Setting the Paces
can be characterized by catchy hooks, some fantastic melodies, and a handful of short, charming songs that range from indie rock to power pop to raucous indie pop.
Apt for carefree days in the sun, I can’t help but feel that BOAT should have released this a few months earlier, where it would flourish as background music to fun-filled happy-go-lucky June afternoons. With a sloppy production and a smug, sometimes humorous feeling, I can’t help but think of Pavement when my head is bobbing to the likes of “Lately,” “Tough Talking the Tulips,” or “We Want It! We Want It!” One thing I found uniquely likable aside from the catchiness is the pure sense of genuine fun from BOAT. Loose execution, sloppy guitars, and far-from-perfect vocals are detractions 99 times out of 100, but I can’t help but feel that this quality is a little charming on Setting the Paces
. It’s the same “I don’t really care all that much, I mean, we’re all just here for a fun, laid-back time, right"” attitude that personified my senior year Ceramics class. I might not have been the most skilled artist or learned lifelong valuable knowledge or skills; but I sure had a great time, and that definitely counts for something.
That being said, there’s no way I would have wanted to go to Ceramics all day long. It loses its charm. The atmosphere where effort doesn’t matter can only be tolerated for so long, and eventually I want more out of my education, as I do my music. The same goes for Setting the Paces
. Enjoyable from start to finish, BOAT has a sound worth listening to, along with some great songs throughout, not just the few I mentioned above. While this is infectious from start to finish, Setting the Paces
is sure to bring your mood up, but don’t expect to keep coming back to BOAT, there’s simply not enough there.