Set Your Goals (Lava/Atlantic/Revelation)
by Joshua Brown
CIV is the guy who used to front Gorilla Biscuits, who showed the Str8 world that taking oneself too seriously is not a prerequisite for being a part of the “crew.” The absence of the rigidity or unfocused anger often associated with straight edge-oriented hardcore is evident in CIV’s ability to switch styles at the drop of a hat.
First they’re ska, then they’re Oi. First they’re Negative Approach, then they’re Embrace (Ian MacKaye’s band before Fugazi). I think I even heard the Dead Kennedys in there (the guitar in the single, “All Twisted”). These acrobatics are performed without faltering, never fucking with the album’s continuity. If the CD’s title, Set Your Goals, didn’t give them away already, make no mistake: These guys are espousing a positive outlook on life.
From the seasoned scenester’s pep talk for the aspiring young mosher (“and then you realize… you can overcome all the things you despise”), to the obligatory dis on the trouble-starters who spoil the fun for the rest of us (“Go home! This is not your soundtrack to violence!”), it’s all here, folks. And they’ve got plenty of positive adrenaline to back it up. Though it’s a great song, I’m sorta already sick of the radio single, “Can’t Wait One Minute More.” A better song is “Choices Made,” because it’s catchy and it’s truly punk rock, not a somewhat watered-down allusion to ska music (read: safe for reggae fans who think punk is too negative). I wish the radio would play it.