Album Review: Face To Face - 'Protection'

4 March 2016 | 11:32 am | Staff Writer
Originally Appeared In

Doing it right and keeping it that way.

Everybody talks about the return of emo, the easycore come no one spares a thought for this glorious punk resurgence? Bands like Millencolin, Lagwagon and now Face To Face have all unleashed what some consider their best records yet unto the world, preserving the integrity of a scene that would have gone under without them.

We don't know why no one's talking about it, but they bloody well should be. Face To Face's latest full-length, 'Protection', has more force than half of this musical community's 2016 releases put together. It's jam-packed with juicy bass (see the creative lines on 'Double Crossed' and 'Middling Around') and two-to-three minute bangers that you can pump your fists to, cry to, and most importantly, listen to in public to feel like a complete badass. If nostalgia's what you seek, weary traveller, it even harks back to Face To Face's more classic sound, sealed and time stamped with a slightly better production method than the outfit previously had available to them.

In all of its fast-tempo glory, throughout its snappy drums and adventurous electrics, this record is at its peak ideologically. Its lyrical content is honest, to the point where on 'It Almost All Went Wrong' its noted that they, "didn't really feel like singing this song". They're motivational on 'Keep Your Chin Up', and if you're not standing tall by the time you finish that one, you probably illegally downloaded the wrong album. 'And So It Goes' is Vonnegut-y and nuanced, while 'Fourteen Fifty-Nine' provides social commentary on reality-fame. Evidently, the messages run deeper than the surface observations you can garner, and the music propels that substance to strike the perfect balance between being individually-awake and also able to perform a damn solid set of tracks.

How is it possible that decades after the fact, these bands are putting out new albums that still sound dewy fresh and intensely authentic? What artists like Face To Face do matters because it means nothing whether history accounts for them or not: they strike a nerve as soon as you press play that means the way they relate to listeners is more than enough to gift them with immortality.

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1. Bent But Not Broken

2. I Won’t Say I’m Sorry

3. Double Crossed

4. See If I Care

5. Say What You Want

6. Protection

7. Fourteen Fifty-Nine

8. It Almost All Went Wrong

9. Keep Your Chin Up

10. Middling Around

11. And So It Goes