For.The.Win. - The Black and the Blue
Record Label: Asian Man/Solidarity
Release Date: April 17, 2009
Not only is the scenery in San Francisco gorgeous, but for those of us who feast on punk... the Bay Area is practically our haven; our Graceland if you will. Dead Kennedys, Green Day, Lagwagon, NOFX... you get the idea -- it's a mecca for melodic punk rock that supplies a plethora of memorable hooks, all while giving us plenty to talk about. Introduce yourself to For.The.Win., surely a future candidate in the Bay Area Punk Rock Hall of Fame, and one of the most recent leading acts in the "posicore" genre.
How is it?
Delivering a beatdown that will leave you refreshed and rejuvenated after 21 minutes of in-your-face motivation, For.The.Win. stick to keeping it real. The production value is rather cleaned-up for a "core" record, and from the get-go, the disc sounds like it's speaking directly to its audience. Rough around the edge? Sure, but "posicore" is done with the flair of hardcore and the good-nature of pop-punk, rounding every angle out to abbreviate the edgy, unsanded nicks & scratches. Hey, not too many bands can spruce up a two-minute kicker and make it sound like an opus ("Burned at Both Ends").
Kicking the ass of all despair and hopelessness, this Bay Area three-piece is determined to soak up all those basement feelings and ensure you feel good about everything at the end of the day. Honest, heartfelt and still managing to pack a wallop, hollow guitars, splashes of percussion and throaty vocals make this one of the most energizing punk efforts you are bound to hear this side of Supporting Caste.
Besides some fine-tuning that could have been used behind the boards ("Attack" has an irritating snare that distracts from the rest of the song), For.The.Win. are a gang vocal motivation group that wants to shake you of all your sorrows. "For the Win" is a wake-up call/slap to the face; "I'm An Outsider" plays like Hot Water Music covering Sum 41; and "Another Day" is an exercise in whiplash-driven positivity. For.The.Win. takes a trip to the local Bay Area punk well, and does their own take all while being the new voice of a new crop. In their own words, "Stay gold."