Tag Archives: Face To Face

Album Review: Face To Face – Protection

954_cover_450I am getting to that time in my life where the bands I grew up with and adored are hitting those milestones that make you realize how fast time is moving.

Face To Face have been around for 25 years now.  Seriously?  25 years already???

It certainly does not feel that long, but they did form in 1991, so it makes sense.  This So Cal punk rock band has been a favorite of mine since the mid-nineties and still are to this day.

So, how do you celebrate two and a half decades of being a band?  You release an album with help from an old friend.

Today, Face To Face dropped Protection on Fat Wreck Chords.  Without even breaking down the album yet, I need to tell you that this album is killer and certainly celebrates this band in the best way possible.  Listening to the album in full, it is clear Trever Keith and crew recorded the album for the fun of it for their fans.

“Bent But Not Broken” started off the album with some force.  I loved the quick baseline but loved more hearing Keith sing on what I interpreted as not giving up.  Following was “I Won’t Say I’m Sorry”, a track that has memorable lyrics that got stuck in my mind regarding denying fault.

“Double Crossed” reminded me of a much younger Face To Face complete with hard  bass lines and group vocals.  “See If I Care” to me almost sounded like a statement to those who ever doubted the band.   I’m sure it is about some ex though, still, I like my take on it.

“Fourteen Fifty-Nine” was another track I just dug a ton.  I think the thing I most about this track was how it spoke on the sad current state of affairs when it comes to entitlement.

“Keep Your Chin Up” was an upbeat positive track aimed at those who could use some confidence.  “And So It Goes” closed out the album and was as energetic as the very first track.

To he honest, I have not been this excited by an album for a long time.  Protection is exactly what I was hoping for by a band I have adored for more than half of my life (mind you all, I was about 15 when I first discovered them).  Still full of emotion and plenty of energy, this band certainly does not sound like they have been around for a quarter of a century.

I am not praising this album just because I like what I currently heard.  I am saying this because there are so many bands out there who lose their style that made them great as they mature and go through changes.  Face To Face has certainly seen their fair share of changes over the years.  Hell, I thought they were going to call it quits forever in the early 2000s.

I’ve been listening to Protection almost daily for almost 2 weeks now.  That is saying a lot right there.   In fact, I was not even the biggest fan of their last two releases.  Protection though for me is very up there next to their self-titled and  Big Choice.  I know, bold statement by me, but this album was seriously a great listen.

I am stoked the band dropped Protection.  I hope you are too.

Interview: Trever Keith of Face To Face

FaceToFace45020 years ago, I didn’t care about many things in  life except for punk rock.  I lived and breathed the genre and knew that it was for me.  I fit the role, spoke the language, and enjoyed every single second of it.

I grew up, but refused to leave my love for punk rock behind.  The best times of my life were fueled by the music and filled with other advocates of the genre.  There’s no way I could ever give up something like that.

When I think about the bands in the 90s that meant the the most to me, Face To Face was at the top.  This So-Cal pop punk outfit was the soundtrack to so many episodes of my life.  Their music is timeless and never has grown dull on me.

Fronted by Trever Keith, the band is celebrating 25 years of being a band this year and decided to put out an all new release on a label that is an old friend of theirs – Fat Wreck Chords.

I am actually in the middle of reviewing their new album Protection, but became so amped while listening to it that I wanted to reach out to Trever Keith and just throw a bunch of questions at him.  Of course he was cool with it.  Check it out…


BHP: First things first, Face to Face is back with Fat Wreck Chords for an all new release in 2016. How did the band and Fat get hooked up again?

TK: I finally figured out that it would be a good idea and I emailed Erin and asked if she wanted to hear our demos. She did and then told Mike. It was very easy

I have to put this out there… I was stoked Face To Face got back together in the late 2000s. You once told me there was a remote chance the band would regroup, but nothing was certain. Was it the fans that brought the band back?

I would say so. We have such a loyal following. The real appeal for us was getting to play live again as face to face. The fans make the live show what it is. We missed that. There is nothing else like it.

The new album is incredible.  What did you guys do differently this time to capture a younger sounding Face To Face and put it in your new material?

We just went back to a simpler more immediate style of arrangement and song. I think they convey the message more clearly. There was a simplicity and honesty to our earlier records. We tried to key into that.

It seriously sounds like you all had fun recording this. This was not a forced release by any means. Am I correct in stating that?

Absolutely. The whole experience really feels like it zoomed by.

“Bent But Not Broken” sounded like a war cry to me as in Face To Face is still here and not going anywhere soon. Was that the intention?

It’s not about us as a band, although I would agree with your sentiment that we intend to stick around for a while longer. It’s more about the type of person who is unwilling to think outside of their dogma.

What is your favorite track off the album? I dig “Double-Crossed” and “See If I Care” a ton, perhaps because they hit on some of my harder times in life.

“Keep Your Chin Up” is probably my favorite song

So, who all is in the band this time around? Scott is, I know that much. 

Danny, who has been drumming with us since 2008, is on the record and so is Dennis Hill who has had guest guitar spots on both records since we started playing again.

Can we expect a proper US tour for this release?

That depends on what you mean by “proper”. I can at least tell you that we plan on hitting all of the big cities.

So how does it feel to be back in the band doing your thing?


The band has been around since 1991, did you ever think that Face To Face would ever be around for this long?

I never doubted it, but I never really thought too much about it. It’s not surprising to me. They know what they’re doing over there.

Now that you all are more seasoned musicians and humans for that matter, how different is touring versus back in the 90s?

We get tired easier. There are naps…

I remember seeing Face To Face at the Warped Tour in 2010 and literally yelling at kids to get off their asses and get closer to the stage. Did it bug you seeing those kids more amped to see new acts over yours, or were you guys too busy playing to your true fans?

Trying to focus more on the people who were there to see us.

Out of all of your albums, which one would you consider was your finest?


In 2008, you dropped a solo release called Melancholics Anonymous. Personally speaking, I loved that album and still listen to it once in a while. Do you think you will ever go that route again?

I doubt it. It was a fun record to make and I even did a brief tour supporting it. These days Face To Face is enough for me.

What do you think about the music these days? Are there any newer acts that impress you?

Western Settings, Iron Chic, Radioactivity

Finally, this is more of a personal question… Why was Big Choice never properly released on vinyl? That promotional album is the white elephant of all LPs out there to me and one day I would love to have a copy in my hands one day. Seeing the album passed the 20 year mark, I’m just curious why it never made it to the turntable.

I am reissuing Don’t Turn Away, Big Choice, and Face to Face on 180 gram colored gatefold, limited edition vinyl in 2016 on my Antagonist Records label to celebrate our 25th Anniversary as a band.

Can I tell you how excited that last answer made me?  I did not even get to close the interview down, I immediately looked if those LPs were up for pre-order yet.

Face To Face’s new album Protection drops March 4th on Fat Wreck Chords.  Head on over to pre-order it by clicking HERE.

Check out a new track off the release:

Here’s the music video the band just released for “Bent But Not Broken”:

Album Review: Fact To Face – Laugh Now, Laugh Later

I am seriously in an old school punk rock overload as of late these days and could not be happier. It seems as if all these bands I used to adore as a kid are coming out of the woodwork and are releasing albums as well as touring in support of them.  In the last week alone I have seen live performances by some amazing bands from the 80s and 90s including Bad Religion and Strung Out. There is one band though that I was most excited for, a band that I was more or less obsessed with in my high school years.

Seeing Face To Face live completely blew me away.  I saw them last summer at the Warped Tour and they sounded great, but their set was so short it was almost depressing.  For more on the show check out the review I posted last week.

Let’s talk about Face To Face…

Trever Keith and company may have stated that Face To Face was done back in 2004 due to indifferences, but just four years later the band decided to regroup but had no plans on releasing new material.  Featuring Keith (the only original member), Chad Yaro, Scott Schiflett, and Danny Thompson, the California punk rock act is back in the scene.  Not only have they been hitting the roads, but they have also decided to drop an all new album titled Laugh Now, Laugh Later on Antagonist Records. This is the band’s first album release in almost eight years.

“Should Anything Go Wrong” opened the album off strong and almost sounded as if the band never took a break.  With a catchy chorus and fierce guitar playing, the song reminded me why I have loved this band for so long.  “It’s All About You” follow and was a little less intense, but Keith’s lyrics just made the song as well as the fun guitars throughout, especially midway through.  Just two songs in on the album and I was already impressed.

“The Invisible Hand” was an instant classic to my ears.  With lyrics of trying to grasp on to what you can not have, the track immediately was lodged in my mind.  Although I liked the bass lines in “Bombs Away”, I felt the song was a little too Ignorance Is Bliss for me and I just could not get into it.  “Blood In The Water” was a good track though and begged for another listen as was “What You Came For”.  “I Don’t Mind And You Don’t Matter” really could have been left off the album as it just did not fit in with the rest.

“Stopgap” was a nice harsh track with Keith repeating  “you got something you want to say to me / so what’s your story better get it straight / don’t waste my time with your apologies” throughout carried by some great guitar work and drumming.  In a more positive feel, “All For Nothing” was a decent love song that had a couple Social D-sounding notes thrown about.

“Pushover” tried hard to hang on to the old school Face To Face sound.  While the track sounded great, I felt the bass riffs could have been faster and heavier.  They seemed to hide behind a lot of the track on the album, especially this one.  The track was also incredibly short and just dropped off leaving “Under The Wreckage” to close things up on the album.

interviewed Keith a few years back and remember him saying that they missed playing shows and he had no intentions on recording new material.  It did not sound like he was that excited to create a new album as much as he was with playing older material, but I am pretty sure the tables have turned.  Laugh Now, Laugh Later may not be the best thing I have heard come from Face To Face, but there are a couple gems in there.  I am just more thrilled the band is back and doing their thing.

As previously mentioned, I saw them live about a week ago and they killed it on stage.  Throughout their set their played three of the new tracks and, to me, they fit in just fine with all of the classics they created years ago.  The one thing though that impressed me the most though was how happy Keith and crew were on stage.  They were having a good time doing what they love best and as a fan, I could not ask for anything more.

Concert Review: Face To Face / Strung Out – Peabody’s – Cleveland, OH – 05/10/2011

Last night was a blast to the past, specifically 1996, thanks to punk legends Face To Face and Strung Out who made a stop in Cleveland at Peabody’s.  The fact that the show landed on a Tuesday night meant nothing to all who filled up the venue to almost sold out proportions.  Fans generally were a little older at the show seeing how the main bands playing ruled the punk scene in the mid-nineties.  It was actually refreshing to be surrounded by such a crowd as I was in their company 15-years ago at random shows.  There were so many familiar faces, it was like a punk rock reunion of sorts.

The Artist Life opened the show but I did not get into the venue in time to see them.  My friends really did not have much to say about them, but after checking out their MySpace profile, I would not have mind to have taken them in.  The Toronto foursome kind of reminds me of a mix of some of the newer punk acts I have been digging recently like Menzingers mixed with AM Taxi.

Long Beach, CA’s The Darlings took the stage to a full crowd and did their best to impress.  The crowd was just not into them at all.  They did not heckle the band or anything, but there was not that much cheering or crowd response at all.  In fact, the old time the band got the crowd riled up was not when they played a Misfits cover, but when they played “Cruel World”

Strung Out, on the other hand, had no problem what so ever getting the crowd going.  Taking the stage, the band dropped into “Too Close To See” and  basically just hammered through an impressive set.  Fans went wild when they played “Firecracker” followed by “Mind Of My Own” with Jason Cruz sounding better than ever on vocals.

During “In Harms Way” the band decided to reline the 90s a little more and did a nice little breakdown of Pantera’s “Walk” to which the fans all sang along to.  Even though they were all hard at work, Strung Out also decided to do a live audition for a new guitarist for all to see and invited Jim Blowers from Pulley to fill in on a “Speedball”.  Needless to say, Blowers proved he has what it takes to play in Strung Out.

My pal Chewy said it best about Strung Out’s set when he turned to me while we both took in the show and said that “this is one of those bands you listen to on CD thinking – wow, I wonder if they sound this awesome live?”  He paused, turned his head to watch the show for a couple more seconds and looked back at me with a huge grin on his face and happily said “yup.”

He was right.  Strung Out is one of the more technical punk rock acts out there and even though the band is going on 20 years, they sounded amazing if not better since the last time I saw them.  Rocking through tracks old and new, the band finally thanked Cleveland for allowing them to play for them and finished off their set with “Bring Out Your Dead” and “Matchbook”.  The crowd of course wanted more, and I am sure the band wanted to play more, but everyone knew they would have to wait till the next time they rolled through town.

The headliners of the night, Face To Face, finally took the stage to an adoring crowd.  The band was all smiles as they broke into “You Lied”, a punk rock classic followed by “You’ve Done Nothing”.  About four songs into the set, Trevor Keith announced that his voice was finally coming back and without hesitation started throwing out snark remarks to the crowd in good fun.  The crowd took it well and realizing that he had everyone’s attention, Keith announced that the band would be playing a new track titled “It’s Not All About You”.

I am not sure the crowd really was into the new track played, but I can tell you that the following three songs the band played including “Ordinary”, “I Won’t Lie Down”, and “Blind” was a whole different story.   Everyone, including myself, had their eyes on the stage and sang along every single lyric to those songs.  Keith and company looked impressed and Keith even mentioned hoe he was feeling an “old school punk rock vibe” in the venue and liked how there was not a line of bouncers in front of the stage.

He continued how he wanted everyone to have a fun time and wished for no one to get hurt.  He invited fans on stage one to two people at a time as they played and told them to do their thing and jump back in the crowd, just like the good old days.  Keith also warned that anyone acting like an ass would have to face the bouncers located on both sides of the stage.  After noticing some of the smaller folk in the crowd he even went so far as to inviting a handful of girls to watch the show on the side of the stage.  Keith was looking out for the fans last night, that is for sure.

After laying down the rules, the band continued with “Pastel”, another new track titled “All For Nothing”, and one of my favorites “A-OK”.  Honestly this might have been the best performance I have ever seen by Face To Face.  They looked so happy to be playing on stage again after being on hiatus for about 8 years (minus last year’s 30 minute Warped Tour set).

With minimal breaks between songs, the bad kept moving on with “Velocity” and “Complicated”, perhaps my favorite Face To Face track ever.  Hearing it live just made me love it even more.

When fans threw beers towards the stage, Keith avoided acting like a Weasel and laughed saying “I Don’t Want That!”  He was having a good time and that made the show that much more entertaining.  Just for kicks, the band decided to play a country song, more specifically “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” by the Georgia Satellites.  Keith was amazed when the entire crowd sang the chorus in unison and admitted that he thought Cleveland was amazing.

Putting an end to the night, the bad played “Big Choice” and treated everyone to “Disconnected”, perhaps the band’s most commercially friendly song.  Popular or not, I loved hearing it live and practically lost my voice singing along with.  The band thanked everyone for coming out and exited the stage only to return for a two song encore, one new track, and one old track.

Seeing Face To Face and Strung Out play live together in one night was a dream come true.  I felt like a kid all over again seeing both of the 90s acts take the stage.  I was impressed with how both bands sounded live and how excited they were to be performing to the crowd.  They were both top notch throughout and I could not ask for a better punk rock show.

Face To Face & Strung Out To Play Cleveland!!!

Excitement is just one of the thousands of words that describe the way I am feeling right now. 

I just learned that Face To Face AND Strung Out are playing a show at Peabody’s in Cleveland on May 10th.

In support of their upcoming release titled Laugh Now…Laugh Later, 90’s punk rockers Face To Face will embark on a multi-city tour with special guests Strung Out who are currently working on their upcoming retrospective album.

This may not be a big deal to you, but it is for me seeing how these are two of my favorite bands of all time.  I am going to be there especially seeing how it is going to be a small club show. 

I caught Face To Face last year at the Warped Tour and remember telling myself how much I wished they would just play a regular show in Cleveland.  Not enough kids there appreciated them like my friends and I did.  I remember how pissed I was when I turned around and saw all the little guppie punk kids sitting on the ground while they played their set…  Well, I guess Face To Face can read minds. 

I have not seen Strung Out in years and missed seeing them play the Agora the night it shut down.  Years ago I got to see them back to back in Cleveland and Cincinnati thanks to an ex who had ins with a guitar tech.  Those were the days.

Who:  Face To Face w/ Strung Out & The Darlings
When:  05/10/11 – Cleveland, OH
Where:  Peabodys Down Under
How Much:  $19.00
Buy Tickets Here

Tour Dates for Strung Out w/ Face To Face (taken from Fatwreck.com):
04/27/11 Vancouver, BC Canada Commodore Ballroom Face to Face, The Darlings
04/28/11 Kelowna, BC Canada Rutland Centennial Hall w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
04/29/11 Edmonton, AL Canada The Starlight Ballroom w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
04/30/11 Calgary, AL Canada Macewan Hall Ballroom w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/01/11 Saskatoon, SK Canada Louis Pub w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/02/11 Winnipeg, MB Canada West End Cultural Center w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/04/11 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/05/11 Chicago, IL The Bottom Lounge w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/06/11 Milwaukee, WI The Rave w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/07/11 Covington , KY Madison Theatre w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/08/11 Detroit, MI Majestic Theatre w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/10/11 Cleveland, OH Peabodys Down Under w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/11/11 Buffalo, NY The Town Ballroom w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/12/11 Toronto, ON Canada Phoenix Concert Theatre w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/13/11 Montreal, ON Canada Olympia Theatre w/ Face to Face, The Darlings
05/14/11 Boston , MA The Paradise w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/15/11 Portland, ME Part City Music Hall w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/17/11 Providence , RI Lupos Heartbreak Hotel w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/18/11 New York City, NY Best Buy Theatre w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/19/11 New Haven, CT Toad’s Place w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/20/11 Sayreville, NJ Starland Ballroom w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/22/11 Baltimore, MD Rams Head Live w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/23/11 Washington , DC Black Cat w/ Face to Face, Cerebral Ballzy
05/24/11 Norfolk, VA The Norva w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
05/25/11 Ashville, NC The Orange Peel w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
05/26/11 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
05/27/11 Lake Buena Vista, FL House of Blues w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
05/28/11 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
05/29/11 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
06/01/11 New Orleans, LA House of Blues w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
06/02/11 Houston, TX Warehouse Live w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
06/04/11 San Antonio, TX White Rabbit w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid
06/05/11 Dallas, TX Granada Theatre w/ Face to Face, Blitzkid