"The first time I ever heard Face to Face was actually on the "Saturday
Morning Cartoons" soundtrack in 1995. I had already discovered other Southern
California style punk rock bands like Pennywise, NOFX, Bad Religion, Rancid
and Down By Law and just could not get enough. They covered "Popeye the Sailor
Man" well enough to make me want to hear more, so I immediately went out and
bought "Big Choice". Little did I know that my life would pretty much change
forever due to the musical choices I made that summer as a wet behind the ears
teenage idiot, leading me to a life of going to shows in basements, hot sweaty
festivals and being a devoted member of the underground music scene. And I can
honestly say that this band helped me through so many tough times. Teen
heartbreak, loss, depression - I felt that if someone was making music with
the lyrics and feeling behind it that Face to Face was, that eventually things
would get better and I would meet more like minded people and finally find a
place I could fit in.
Nostalgia aside, every time I hear that a new album is on the way from these
guys, I get really excited because I can honestly say nothing they have done
has ever let me down. "Ignorance is Bliss" is considered to be an album that
turned a lot of the punk kids off due to its more dreary, melodramatic
feeling. But personally, I loved that album. I guess people just expected them
to keep releasing albums like "Don't Turn Away", "Big Choice", and "S/T" -
which would also have been fine by me since I love all of those albums as
well, but I respected their need to try something a little different.
This album, in my opinion, is a perfect blend of their signature sound with a
slight nod to the "Ignorance is Bliss" overtones. This is certainly not fluff.
Tracks like "Under The Wreckage" and "Blood in the Water" and "What You Came
For" remind me a lot of the more emotional and brooding Ignorance is Bliss
days while other tracks take the slightly poppier route, and even more are
more similar to the S/T album. There is a little something for every long time
fan in this album, all while maintaining the lyrical integrity that drew us to
the band in the first place.
My favorite tracks on the album so far are "All for Nothing" and "What You
Came For" - by far the catchiest songs on here. But honestly it's very hard to
find a weakness in any of the songs. "It's All About You" and "Bombs Away" are
almost throwbacks to the Don't Turn Away days, which is probably my favorite
album of theirs. Most albums by long time punk veterans can be a little hit or
miss but this is about as solid as they come.
In closing, if you are a fan of this band, you need this album. There are so
many different feels and nuances that only a band that has been around for a
long time could develop without leading to stale riffs, stale lyrics and
rehashed themes. These guys are true pros, and will always remain in my top 5
favorite bands of all time."