All About Perspectives
Disconnect Disconnect Records
Belgian pop-punkers For I Am are a refreshingly simple take on a familiar mid-90’s sound. Their quick landing, light-hearted chords feel reminiscent of early career Blink 812, and their enthusiastic spirit makes melodies both easy to digest and catchy enough to keep playing in your head well after the music stops. Frontwoman Hanne further amplifies the band’s early success with her combination of clean, forceful vocals. Female fronted punk bands are far and few between, and they always seem to be reported by media outlets as “female-fronted pop-punk,” as if “typical” pop-punk is a “man’s job.” Without any gender-demarcated addendums, For I Am are excellent at what they do.
Relatively new to the scene, the band follows their initial EP with their debut full length, All About Perspectives. A powerful statement in many regards, For I Am first addresses the political elephant in the room with an open letter to president Trump in, “Simpleton For President,” which Opens with a hauntingly prophetic passage from South Park which aired a year prior to the election (it’s well worth googling). “I’d like to congratulate you sir, on winning bonehead of the century, go ahead and have your fun, denying everything the world has ever meant to me,” shouts Hanne, as she grapples with understanding the politics underlying a protectionist, racist worldview. The chorus-verse transition between speedy technical guitar and simple riff-laced melody echo the band’s passion as they fiercely voice their frustrations.
All About Perspectives is a wild ride, with each track giving listeners another reason to hop on board. For instance, take how album highlight “Or It Was Steve” celebrates the “secret language” of best friends, including a well-placed reference to internet memes (the most suitably integrated sound clip being lifted from a video of a gopher calling, “Alan Alan Alan, Steve Steve Steve”). On a musical side, “Nightburn” breaks into strong bass grooves, while solid “woah-oah” heavy mid-tempo offerings like “An Unusual Kind Of Magic” and “Sticky Sweet” feature choruses that bring to mind cross-generational spanning punk-rock staples like Neck Deep, MxPx, and Antillectual. The organically executed female-male duet defining album closer “(Make it Out) Alive” is a real treat, and the breakneck drumming and unhinged vocals of “Laundry Man” is a welcome battering akin to Guttermouth or Ashtray. On the surface, For I Am keep things simple, but piecing their inspiration together draws from a wealth of punk rock icons.
For newcomers, For I Am have crafted one heck of a full-length. All About Perspectives stands poised to catch the ear of punk fans everywhere, and brand For I Am as a band worth keeping an eye on. Melodic 90’s pop-punk as a genre typically lives in the past, but For I Am feels contemporarily relevant and wholly appreciable for what they are in the present.