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FACE TO FACE: No Way Out But Through

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Fat Wreck Chords

September 10

Words by Jimmy Glinster

While Fred Durst is running around throwing out the dad vibes, a bunch of 50-year-old West Coast punks by the name of Face To Face have fired up their rusty diesel engines to celebrate their 30-year anniversary with a brand-new album titled No Way Out But Through. They claim that this is their best sounding album to date, even though the guitars were recorded in a home studio. Not sure why we need to know that, but anyway, let’s give it a test run, shall we.

Black Eye Specialist fires away on all cylinders, and we are hit with a classic punk rock track. They are right about the production; it actually sounds pretty damn good for a punk record.

Maybe even too good to be a punk record? Catchy tune, nothing special in the punk rock scheme of things, not that there ever is, but not a bad opening track, nonetheless.

Title track No Way Out But Through is up next, and this one kind of reminds me of something from The Offspring. A solid bass line carries us through as the guitars jump in and out of action. We are treated with few Woah, Woah, Woah’s in the chorus which cement this track as a classis punk rock anthem.

A Miss Is As Good As A Mile Away is a fucking mouthful of a song title and if this is any kind of good punk song it will be over by the time I finish typing this sentence. Luckily though, it’s got a good minute or two to go and a few more Woah Woah’s to remind me once again that I’m listening to a punk album. Not that I’ve needed reminding, this is classic punk rock, and I might even like it.

Blanked Out opens wit h a cool little funky bassline before the guitars take over with a rocking 3 chord punk progression. Woah, woah, woah, woah. Yeah, that again. 3 minutes of it. Let’s see if we get another Woah Woah in the next track, Anonymous? Not yet, but I’m not calling it until it’s over. Looks like they’ve spared me on this track by replacing the Woah’s with some strong back up singalong vocals. Not bad for a punk track, running in at 4 and a half minutes, which is double the average in this genre.

I think the title of the next track Ruination Here We Come must have been a warning as the band almost immediately launches into Woah Woah Woah. They do throw in a random Woah Woah Oh which is a nice change.

Seven tracks in, and I think I’ve already heard every song on this album, which is not unusual for a punk record. I mean, there is only so much you can do with the three chords and a single drum beat. The bass guitar does manage to keep it interesting though, as it wavers away from the root notes of the guitars. It also helps their cause that frontman Trever Keith can actually sing, and he shows it off on Long Way Down and Vertigo-go but they do break my heart when they hit another Woah Woah Woah in the latter of the two.

You Were Wrong About Me, no I fucking wasn’t, you’re a punk rock band, and you’re about to throw another Woah Woah Woah at me. Yep, there it is you filthy old punk rock fuckers!

Thankfully the next track Spit Shine opens with an almost speed metal bass line, but again they blow it by throwing in an unnecessary and very overused Woah Woah Woah. Don’t get me wrong, these are good songs, and you might even catch me singing along to the odd Woah Woah Woah because they are actually pretty damn catchy.

Two tracks to go, and I’m hoping I don’t get another Woah Woah Woah, but with the pop punk vibes of This Is My Vanishing Act I’m thinking I’m only a verse or two away from it haunting me again. Fuck me, we made it through the whole track, and now we are up to the Farewell Song, and I’m really hoping it’s better than that Closing Time song that’s haunted me at weddings for the last 22 years or so. It’s better, it’s rocky, and it’s a goodbye … literally.

Woah Woah Woah, that was pretty dam Woah Woah Woah. I’m not a punk fan, but I’ll admit that I actually quite liked this one for what it is, catchy and rocking. If you’re a fan of the punk rock genre, I reckon you’ll love it. Woah Woah Woah!

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