Incredibly, No Way Out But Through is Face To Face’s tenth album, in thirty years of being a band. Perhaps even more stunning is that in my mind this is possibly their best work ever. Now that’s a bold claim but read on and I shall explain…
I remember when their first album came out, in fact it is still sat on the shelf just a few feet away and it still gets a regular spin. A perfect example of up-tempo punk-hardcore, California style. Over the years, they have “matured” somewhat, without really straying from their path.
One thing they have always excelled at is writing catchy melodic songs without the sugar-coating. Whichever musical genre this is a recipe for longevity and success – think of classic songs by The Smiths, or The Cure or The Specials where you have hugely memorable songs that don’t have the bubblegum effect – an explosion of sweetness in your mouth for the briefest of moments before turning into a bland blob.
Those may seem like unusual comparisons, but the point is that these are songs designed to be savoured for a long time. Face To Face may have grown older, but they certainly haven’t become tired or complacent. The songs are full of energy and passion, they are still hungry and you can tell. Absolute spot-on musicianship certainly helps their cause too, and singer Trever Keith really lifts things to another level. They are of the classic “woah-oh” school of hardcore-punk – think of bands like Naked Raygun or Bad Religion – you know, that timeless style that never grows old. A very accomplished album and one that has been on repeat ever since it landed. Thank you Face To Face. Tom Chapman