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Album Review: For I Am – Late Bloomers
For I Am
Late Bloomers - Bearded Punk Records / Fond Of Life Records / La Agonía De Vivir / Lockjaw Records / No Reason Records / Sound Speed Records / Trilob Records / Milestone Sound / Punk & Disorderly Records
Remember that thing you liked best about that song you loved? The one you had on repeat over and over that time when you needed a medicinal blast of sublime pop-power-punk? Well, you don’t need that anymore because Belgian punk quintet For I Am have just trampled it into the dust. Late Bloomers is a triumphant record that is absolutely guaranteed to bring a smile to your face and joy to your punk heart. It’s not cutting edge, it’s not even particularly edgy. In fact, it’s everything you have heard before but distilled into one delicious and exhilarating cocktail. First listen through, I was waiting for the filler. 15 tracks can’t all be this magnificent, can they? Believe me, they can. I waited in vain for the duff track, the self-indulgent ballad, the pointlessly obtuse jazz chord progression. Nada. Zip. Just joyous, raucous bubblegum punk that soars and thunders. Even the dreamy mostly acoustic Nowheresville Motel in 6/8 time fits the schema perfectly. This album would stand alone on the strength of the song-writing, but the execution is also flawless. There is clearly a ton of musical intelligence at work here. The riffing is perfect, the bass growls and the drums thunder. And over all of this sits a superlative, emotive vocal that’s full of power and passion in a way that Debbie Harry‘s never was. If you need a useful and contemporary comparison, imagine a tougher and more frantic Dollyrots on speed.
It’s impossible to pick a favourite from this album. In a perfect world, For I Am would transcend being, in their own words, ‘one of the most well-known and active bands in the Belgian punk scene’ to be international stars. I hope this album brings them the acclaim and exposure they most definitely deserve.
“Late Bloomers” that will be released digitally on the 11th November with a physical to follow on the 16th November via Bearded Punk Records (BE), Fond Of Life Records (DE), La Agonía De Vivir (ES), Lockjaw Records (UK), No Reason Records (IT), Sound Speed Records (US), Trilob Records (NL), Milestone Sound (JP) and Punk & Disorderly Records (CAN).
For I Am can be found on Facebook here