I Am Forever

The Tragic Tale Of Jonny Pumpkinhead EP

Written by: TL on 02/12/2010 20:23:13

After reviewing a couple of EP's that were sent to us by small bands who kindly asked for our attention, I've smugly started to think about why these bands even bother. Why? Well because as soon as any new band is worth knowing about, I'll know about it, one way or another. It comes from doing this for so long. Seriously, the good bands just somehow reveal themselves to you. True story! (...) Point in case; I Am Forever, whose second EP "The Tragic Tale Of Jonny Pumpkinhead" has been mentioned on my "review these releases" list for a little while now, without me remembering the band or what originally prompted me to make note of them. Having recently given them a go anyway though, I can now say that I am at least thankful I did.

In many ways, this is is the same deal I usually present to you. Four British dudes, five tracks, one early career release. Sounds familiar? Ohh but it isn't, because as opposed to what you usually hear from bands in this stage of their careers, this disc sounds like a band that knows what it's doing. And what they are doing, by the way, is taking the familiar sounds of what you could call emo-rock or pop-punk, depending on your own personaly labelling system, and pumping it up to a cinematic, big-venue-friendly format.

Think Madina Lake.. or Young Guns.. Or The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, and then forget about any reservations I might usually tell you to have when it comes to young bands, because these guys have the characteristics that it normally takes to make it to the big leagues. We're talking focused song-writing, articulate vocals and a production that sounds like money. And they're unsigned, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! Who is bankrolling these kids? Did they blow a producer or something?!

Jokes aside, all I mean to say is that the sound here has a quality other bands struggle for years to come near. Let's take a couple of examples. Track two of the disc for instance, "Seasons", opens with some softly sung words before briefly erupting into loud chords and soaring melody. This dynamic is utilized masterfully, as the song quickly moves between verse and chorus, throwing in a proper Yashin-style tapped guitar-flourish as icing for the cake, and some nice rhythm-variation in the second chorus. A veteran producer couldn't teach a band more efficient songwriting than this, and it is equally available in the following song "Misery Loves Company", which, although operating at a slower pace, still makes expert use of dynamics in both rhythm and loudness, building up to an anthemic chorus.

You get it, I like this band. In fact, even when it comes to the singer, whose colleagues I am often critical of, I don't have much to complain about. If he was a bit more proficient in his high range, he could add even more muscle to the band's sound, but given that he has good charisma in his lower parts, understands to make cool use of a nasal sound on occasion, and shows mostly crystal clear articulation, what's not to like about him? Let me repeat myself for emphasis: Both sound-wise and song-wise, here's a band that sounds like money, and of all the small-band-ep's I've heard lately, this one has as much upside as any I can remember. And you people are telling me they're unsigned? What? Labels, do you not like money? If these dudes can keep writing songs like this, and not get any strange ideas when they get around to making an LP, then someone's going to cash in on this. Mark my words while I mark the record:


Download: Seasons, Misery Loves Company
For The Fans Of: Madina Lake, Young Guns, Yashin, The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Listen: myspace.com/iamforeverband

Release Date 24.07.2010

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