For The Win - Heavy Thoughts
Review by Dom Vigil
For The Win’s new album, Heavy Thoughts sounds just how the title suggests. These ten songs blend elements of pop-punk and metalcore for an incredibly heavy, hard hitting and aggressive sound from the very first note of the explosive opening track. The unique sound on Heavy Thoughts sets For The Win apart from their pop-punk counterparts, giving fans something fun and refreshing to listen to while continuing to grow their sound.
“Us Versus Them,” the first song on Heavy Thoughts is a total battle cry. Rather than easing you into the album, For The Win throw you right into the fire, wasting no time and immediately grabbing your attention. You’ll be glad that they have it, too, as the second song, “G Series” is easily one of the strongest tracks on the album. Sonically, this song is a banger and lyrically, it’s a sly little callout for those who are playing music for the wrong reasons as Kyle Christensen sings, “You crave acceptance/And you forget your roots/We know where we came from/We’re bulletproof.”
The only downside in the high energy start to Heavy Thoughts is that the first few songs on the album tend to have a very similar vibe. Thankfully, the band quickly proves that they’re not one dimensional, though, as fourth track, “The Weight Of The World” has a much more aggressive, angry and fed-up tone. Then, “Nowhere To Run” takes a very poppy and upbeat turn, providing some much needed diversity. The massive and emotional sixth song, “Dancing Shoes” is another great cut and serves as the perfect middle track. “Dancing Shoes” has a little bit of everything - some metalcore influenced guitar work to kick things off but a huge, melodic chorus that’ll soar through your speakers. Vocally, it is one of the most dynamic songs on the album as well, showcasing Christensen’s full range while bassist Giovanni Suarez Moreno provides some powerful screams.
Track after track, these hard hitting songs will quickly begin to feel timeless, reminiscent of artists like Set Your Goals, Four Year Strong or even early A Day To Remember. In a pop-punk scene that is heavily saturated with artists that all sound very similar, For The Win are staying true to themselves, and the result is something refreshing and fun to listen to.
Tack after track, the band proves that they’re more than just punchy guitars, gang vocals and catchy choruses, too. Seventh song, “How Can I (Get Back To You)” is incredibly well written, high energy and poppy, and the key change that comes in right before the end is mind blowing. Lyrically, the title track, “Heavy Thoughts” is incredibly positive and makes you want to continue pushing forward despite your own heavy thoughts. Stand out line, “When life doesn’t give you what you want/You’ve gotta pick up the pieces and move on,” is blunt, honest and just what you need to hear. “Until The End Of Time” then brings things to close on a surprisingly soft and vulnerable note, proving once more that For The Win are a force to be reckoned with. These ten soon to be classic songs bridge the gap between melodic metalcore and pop-punk and leave you feeling fulfilled by the time they come to a close.
LISTEN TO: "G Series" or "Dancing Shoes"
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