» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Face to Face
Shoot the Moon: The Essential Collection
Antagonist Records

Rating: 5.5/10 ?

November 18, 2005
You begin your career with one sort-of-hit, then spend the next decade trying to eclipse that hit, or at least write a song just as good. That's some people's take on the story of Face to Face in a nutshell. They began their career with "Disconnected", a perfect pop-punk anthem that hit at just the right time, when pop punk exploded with the likes of Green Day, the Offspring and all the others. Then while riding the wave of popularity that came with "Disconnected", Face to Face signed to a major label, re-released "Disconnected" and got all the mileage they could out of it, but they could never muster a follow-up cut that affected as many people.

Still with a loyal, underground fan base, the group soldiered on, releasing many more albums than many probably cared about. Only recently has the group amicably split and released this greatest hits compilation (that actually includes only one minor hit).

Face to Face were different from all the other pop-punk bands that made southern California seem like Mecca to any 14 year old punk fan: they were poppy and fast, sure, but something unique set them apart from the NOFX and Lagwagon clones. Maybe it was Trever Keith's distinctive vocals, maybe it was the driving bass lines; it's hard to pin down. The group's songs were accessible and memorable, but it's hard to imagine any of their catalog ever finding a place on the radio or in permanent mix CD rotation by thousands of fans (excluding "Disconnected"); this is certainly one of the factors why (almost) none of these songs ever became popular.

There's really very little to say except this compilation is what it is. That may sound like a cop-out, but either you are a frenetic (and maybe youthful) person drawn to Face to Face's abundant bouncy energy, or you're the type to run from pop-punk. Shoot the Moon isn't bound to change your opinion either way.

This compilation shows that Face to Face rarely varied from their own established formula of fast and memorable punk songs - only the tracks towards the end of the CD (and the band's career) have a bit more bite and bile, showing the group as it moved to a sound more similar to the less-than-sunny Pennywise. Even this shift isn't able to capture the magic the group continually strived for.

Appropriately enough, the CD ends as it began, with "Disconnected" - this time a live version. Even as the crowd goes wild and the band rips, its double placement shows that the band is well aware of its legacy as crafters of a great anthem and many other just passable punk songs.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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