Face To Face – No Way Out But Through
Released: September 10, 2021
Trever Keith // vocals, guitar
Scott Shiflett // bass, backing vocals
Dennis Hill // guitar
Danny Thompson // drums
Face To Face have been in the game for thirty years now, and despite having a strong fan base, they have not had the name recognition of some of their punk contemporaries, like NOFX, Lagwagon and Strung Out, which considering their sound is very West Coast punk is a damn shame, and No Way Out But Through encapsulates this perfectly.
Opening with ‘Black Eye Specialist’, the song is a powerful, guitar driven song, with some smooth vocal harmonies. First single ‘No Way Out But Through’ is next, with its important message of working through life’s issues, and becoming a better version of yourself. ‘A Miss is As Good As a Mile Way’ with its dynamic drum beat continues the overarching theme of empowering and inspiring others.
‘Blanked Out’s layered vocals, particularly in the chorus, makes it a memorable song. Starting with a classic punk rock drum beat, ‘Anonymous’ is a melodic tour de force, with Keith singing “You’re lonely, you’ve only just begun to feel much of anything/ I’m sorry, I’m sorry I ever wanted anyone to know my name.” ‘Ruination Here We Come’ starts with fuzzy guitar riffs, and ups the tempo, its backing vocals and pace would make it a favourite in the mosh pit (whenever that can happen).
‘Long Way Down’ is an energetic, potent song with its motivational lyrics and sound. Following is ‘Vertigo-go’ which allows Keith’s vocals to shine and blend seamlessly with the punchy guitar riffs, bassline and rolling drumbeat. ‘You Were Wrong About Me’ is a defiant song about being yourself and saying fuck you to your detractors, albeit in a very polite way.
The bassline on ‘Spit Shine’ is unmistakably impressive and makes it distinctive from the other songs on the album. ‘This Is My Vanishing Act’ is the penultimate song on the album, and has a catchy chorus and heavy bridge that demonstrates the musicianship of all the band members. ‘Farewell Song’ brings the record to an end, a song that Keith believes is “one of the strongest songs on the album” and has a more pop rock sensibility compared to the rest of the tracks.
Honestly, I have only listened to the odd Face To Face song before this, and more fool me, as this is one of the tightest, well produced albums of the year, and with more spins will assuredly climb up my favourite records of the year. In other words, do yourself a favour and give it a listen.
Face To Face – No Way Out But Through tracklisting:
1. Black Eye Specialist
2. No Way Through But Out
3. A Miss is as Good as a Mile Way
4. Blanked Out
6. Ruination Here We Come
7. Long Way Down
9. You Were Wrong about Me
10. Spit Shine
11. This Is My Vanishing Act
12. Farewell Song