God, I hate punk rock. You know why? Because it’s been fucking dead since the
late ‘70s. Kids these days who claim to be making punk rock aren’t, okay? Let’s
just get that out of the way right now. You can’t create something new out of
something dead. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. No one’s sitting around making New
Wave or disco albums anymore, so let’s stop with all the punk bullshit, too. No,
you don’t get any leeway here to talk about techno artists or those revival-type
bands that incorporate faux elements of New Wave and disco into their tunes.
These people know those genres are dead. It’s very tongue in cheek. Those bands
that think they are doing something important will be gone faster than you know.
But punk kids, and these new fangled “punk” bands, don’t get that. They still
wanna shout “Oi!” and pump their fists and wear jack boots and color their hair
crazy and have a fake ‘piss off’ attitude. Does that sound stereotypical? Good,
because that’s all these folks embrace and celebrate. There’s nothing wrong with
getting into a genre of music and enjoying it, but beating a dead horse is
another thing. For fuck’s sake, Alvin and the Chipmunks and the Pink Panther had
punk albums out at one point. And even by that time, it was dead.
Is it any wonder Green Day have gone on to different things? They were never
punk, anyway, and that’s not an insult. They make great rockin’ pop songs. But
so many bands out there these days want to do that whole “emo” thing, whatever
that is, and then deny that’s what it is. But that’s all this crap is anymore.
Loud guitars played by adenoidal kids wearing their hearts on their sleeves and
singing about chicks. Gee, that is too punk, man. Lemme go slap some Operation
Ivy bumper stickers on the back of my car, just so you know I’m really legit
underneath it all.
So now we have this band Face to Face and a compilation of “essential” material.
This is the first time I’ve ever heard this group. I thought the album title
sounded cool and agreed to write it up. However, as soon as the first song
“Disconnected” hit my speakers, I knew that the rest of the album was going to
sound just the same, and I wasn’t wrong. For the sake of sanity, we’ll call Face
to Face a pop-punk group. They’re committing all the aforementioned crimes here.
The songs are at a quick tempo, the beats don’t ever really change, the guitars
are loud enough, and the singing isn’t really too much to pay attention to.
Think of them as Bad Religion meets Lagwagon.
They wanna hit you with some topicality on tracks like “Bill of Goods” and “A
Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing,” but just can’t help but mix a lot of annoying shit in
there to make sure it sucks. Hence the likes of “You Lied,” “Pastel,” and “I
Won’t Lie Down.” 21 tracks in all with nary an original idea in their collective
heads. Poor Face to Face.
Do you even care? I’m betting that you probably don’t, thinking, “Aw, hell,
that’s just some of that indie label junk I’ve never been into.” But there’s a
lot to be said for a number of the indies – labels and groups – and many times
there is often gold to be found in them thar hills. But Face to Face have zero
when it comes to adding anything new to music. And it doesn’t even have to be
something new. How about just settling for good and not boring? Too late.
There’s nothing essential here.