Saturday, June 16, 2018

Song Of The Week: 6/17/18







Song: "Complicated"

Artist: Face To Face

Album: "Live"

Year: 1998

Place Of Origin: Victorville, California

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Complicated" is a song that appears to be about a person who is so stubborn in their beliefs or opinions that it may wind up costing them in the future. If you have no ability to reason, you're basically living life down a one way street. If you feel strongly about something, no doubt fight for it and stand behind it, but not every issue is black and white, so when there's gray area, you should be able to engage in debate and perhaps even have your opinion altered. I chose the live version of "Complicated" for my song of the week. The original appears on Face To Face's 1996 self-titled album.

FACE TO FACE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1992 - Don't Turn Away (Dr. Strange Records)
1995 - Big Choice (Victory Music)
1996 - Face To Face (A & M Records)
1998 - Live (Vagrant Records)
1999 - Ignorance Is Bliss (Beyond Records)
1999 - Standards & Practices (Vagrant Records)
2000 - Reactionary (Vagrant Records)
2002 - How To Ruin Everything (Vagrant Records)
2011 - Laugh Now, Laugh Later (People Like You Records)
2013 - Three Chords And A Half Truth (Rise Records)
2016 - Protection (Fat Wreck Chords)

CURRENT STATUS OF FACE TO FACE:

Face To Face formed as a band back in 1991, with Trever Keith on vocals and guitar, Matt Riddle on bass and Rob Kurth on drums. Their very first album, 1992's "Don't Turn Away", featured the song "Disconnected" which started giving the band some following especially in the southern California punk scene. The band was asked to re-record the song for their second release, "Big Choice", in 1995. Matt Riddle also left the band at this time and was replaced by Scott Shiflett. The success of "Disconnected" and the subsequent rise of punk rock in the mid-90's with bands like The Offspring, Rancid and Green Day led to Face To Face signing with major label A & M Records for the release of their self titled album in 1996. Being on a major would only last that one album however for Face To Face. In 1999, the band threw it's fans a curve ball with the release of "Ignorance Is Bliss". This album strayed from the melodic, catchy three chord punk rock songs that Face To Face was known for and went in a more mainstream, almost emo like direction. For a while, Trever Keith kind of disowned this album, refusing to play any of the songs live, but soon he came around and began playing those songs, in fact, Face To Face did a whole tour in honor of the album. 2000's "Reactionary" saw Face To Face get back to their punk rock roots as did 2002's "How To Ruin Everything". Those two albums were released through Vagrant Records which had the longest relationship with the band than any other label. By 2005, lots of things were going on within the ranks of Face To Face. Original drummer Rob Kurth left the band in 1997 and was replaced by Pete Parada. Second guitarist Chad Yaro, who joined the band in 1994, decided to leave the band in 2000. The feeling within the band was that maybe it was time to step away. What started as a hiatus was later said to be an official break up in 2004. Luckily for fans of Face To Face, the break up was short lived. The band got back together in 2008 with Keith on guitar and vocals, Shiflett on bass, Yaro returning on guitar and new drummer Danny Thompson as Parada joined The Offspring. The band's first album after their hiatus was a triumphant return. 2011's "Laugh Now, Laugh Later" put Face To Face right back on the punk rock map. The band hooked up with Rise Records for 2013's "Three Chords And A Half Truth". The band's most recent release was 2016's "Protection". This album was released through legendary punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords in what seems to be a match made in heaven for label and band. When you think punk rock bands of the 90's, lots of names come up. Face To Face has to be one of the most respected of all of those bands who came out. They're kind of like, gruffy punk, for lack of a better term. No nonsense, three chords, melodic and gravelly vocals. I'd say they are similar in sound to bands like 88 Fingers Louis, Good Riddance, The Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music and the Street Dogs. The foundation of their music has been done by countless bands, but it's something about the delivery of that music that makes Face To Face stand on their own. The great news is that since they've returned from their little hiatus, Face To Face seems to be firing on on cylinders. Three more albums, constant touring, and look out for a brand new all acoustic album coming soon from this incredible punk rock outfit!

TEN FACE TO FACE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Disappointed
2. It's Not All About You
3. The New Way
4. The Devil You Know (God Is A Man)
5. Double Crossed
6. Disconnected
7. Blind
8. You Lied
9. Right As Rain
10. That's Entertainment (The Jam cover)

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Song Of The Week: 6/10/18.







Song: "Blackjack" (acoustic version)

Artist: Everclear

Album: "Closure"

Year: 2004

Place Of Origin: Portland, Oregon

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Here's an excerpt of an interview with Everclear frontman Art Alexakis which explains what he was trying to convey in the song "Blackjack". "The song "Blackjack" deals partly with Attorney General John Ashcroft and what Alexakis views as his abuse of the nation’s leading law enforcement position. "It just seems like John Ashcroft has used the law as a forum for his own political and spiritual beliefs. And that’s not what America’s about," Alexakis said. "His job is to uphold the Constitution and go after people
who go against that. It seems like he’s made it this bully pulpit for (his beliefs), and might I say with the support and power of the president behind him -­ and not just Bush, but (Vice President Dick) Cheney, (Defense Secretary Donald) Rumsfeld and all the guys who pull strings." The word blackjack, by the way, refers not to the card game, but to a small club with a flexible handle. "It’s very subtle and it’s very unimposing looking," Alexakis said. "But it does the damage of 10 men. I kind of liked that analogy, and I liked turning it around on the people that try to use verbal and spiritual and physical and political blackjack to control and make their way happen." I chose the acoustic version of "Blackjack" for my song of the week. The original can be found on Everclear's 2003 album "Slow Motion Daydream"

EVERCLEAR DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1993 - World Of Noise (Tim/Kerr Records)
1995 - Sparkle And Fade (Capitol Records)
1997 - So Much For The Afterglow (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1: Learning How To Smile (Capitol Records)
2000 - Songs From An American Movie Vol. 2: Good Time For A Bad Attitude (Capitol Records)
2003 - Slow Motion Daydream (Capitol Records)
2006 - Welcome To The Drama Club (Eleven Seven Records)
2008 - The Vegas Years (Capitol Records)
2009 - In A Different Light (429 Records)
2011 - Return To Santa Monica (Cleopatra Records)
2011 - Extended Versions (Sony/BMG Records)
2012 - Invisible Stars (eOne Records)
2015 - Black Is The New Black (The End Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF EVERCLEAR:

Just after the grunge explosion of 1991 and 1992, there was another emerging alternative rock scene that was about to take off as well. Portland, Oregon's Everclear was one of the pioneers of this next phase of rock music. While their music was rooted in grunge/punk/garage rock, it would be the second single from their sophomore album, "Sparkle And Fade", that would really put Everclear on the musical map. "Santa Monica" was like the car moving upwards on a roller coaster. The band's next album, 1995's "So Much For The Afterglow" would prove to be that same car stopping at the top of the roller coaster. This would be Everclear's most successful album, going double platinum thanks to hit singles like "Everything To Everyone", "So Much For The Afterglow", "Father Of Mine" and "One Hit Wonder". The band's next album, 2000's "Songs From An American Movie Vol. 1", featured Everclear's highest charting single ever, "Wonderful". Now, however, the roller coaster car begins going down the hill. The band released "Songs From An American Movie Vol 2" just four months after Vol. 1 creating a bit of confusion among music buyers. Perhaps, it was an oversaturation. After the band released "Slow Motion Daydream" in 2003, their longtime relationship with major label Capitol Records ended and bassist Craig Montoya and drummer Greg Eklund decided to part ways with Everclear leaving frontman/guitarist Art Alexakis to ponder the future of the band. After doing a successful solo tour, many thought Alexakis might just go the solo route, but he would re-tool Everclear with new members and release "Welcome To The Drama Club" in 2006. It would be six more years till Everclear would release a proper studio album but in that time, they would put out a covers album, a few re-recorded albums and a live album. The band's most recent release was 2015's "Black Is The New Black". Art Alexakis is currently working on a solo album in 2018. As I said earlier, Everclear was definitely at the forefront of the alternative rock scene in the mid-90's. Art Alexakis' songwriting is very clear, meaning that his lyrics are usually literal and not obscure. You can pretty much know what he is singing about without having to look really deep into the lyrics. While some of the themes may have been as dark as the earlier grunge bands, Everclear had a way of making even those types of songs appear "happier" for lack of a better term. They had a keen sense of creating a pop rock song, while giving it some bite with fuzzy distortion. I always looked at Everclear as kind of the Tom Petty of alternative rock. Simple songs. Catchy songs. While their popularity waned from the mid 2000's to the present day, the band has carried on, releasing music and touring. In fact, they've created their own summer tour called the "Summerland Tour" which features Everclear alongside other 90's alternative acts like Live, Sponge and Fastball. I actually would like to see Montoya and Eklund return to Everclear. I'm just not sure that will ever happen as they didn't leave on the best of terms. Still, Everclear is one of my favorite bands and I was really impressed with their latest album, "Black Is The New Black".

TEN EVERCLEAR SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Heroin Girl
2. So Much For The Afterglow
3. Learning How To Smile
4. The Swing
5. Wonderful
6. Santa Monica
7. American Girl (Tom Petty cover)
8. Blackjack
9. Pocahontas (Neil Young cover)
10. Be Careful What You Ask For

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Song Of The Week: 6/3/18







Song: "Going Down In Flames"

Artist: 3 Doors Down

Album: "Away From The Sun"

Year: 2002

Place Of Origin: Escatawpa, Mississippi

Years Active: 1996 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Going Down In Flames" is a song that appears to be about a relationship that's on the outs. The vocalist appears to be fed up with the relationship and he's grown tired of hearing her side of the story. He feels that she has not supported him at all and when he's gone, he feels she will regret losing him because she doesn't realize what she had with him.

3 DOORS DOWN DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2000 - The Better Life (Universal Records)
2002 - Away From The Sun (Universal Republic Records)
2005 - Seventeen Days (Universal Republic Records)
2008 - 3 Doors Down (Universal Republic Records)
2011 - Time Of My Life (Universal Republic Records)
2016 - Us And The Night (Republic Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF 3 DOORS DOWN:

3 Doors Down formed as a band back in 1996, hailing from Mississippi. Vocalist Brad Arnold actually started out playing drums as well for the band, in fact he played drums on the band's first two albums. Speaking of the first two albums, let's start with the debut. When the song "Kryptonite" found it's way to radio stations, it skyrocketed to #3 on the Billboard Top 100 charts. The album "The Better Life" became the 11th best selling album of 2000 and has gone on to be certified 6X platinum. Success continued for the band with their sophmore effort, 2002's "Away From The Sun". This album debuted at #8 on the Billboard 200 charts. The steamroller kept going! 2005's "Seventeen Days" debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts and was certified platinum within one month of it's release! Their follow up self-titled album also debuted at #1. 3 Doors Down's last two releases, 2011's "Time Of My Life" and 2016's "Us And The Night" also debuted in the top 20 of the Billboard 200 charts but those two albums saw a significant drop in album sales. 3 Doors Down is what you would consider mainstream rock. Most of their songs are written specifically to get play on popular radio. That's not a bad thing, it just doesn't quite give the band lots of cred when it comes to music snobs. They aren't a bad band though and sometimes there's nothing wrong with a catchy tune. Their style is reminiscent of band's like Three Days Grace, 12 Stones, Trapt, Seether and Breaking Benjamin. 3 Doors Down tends to add a little bit of southern rock influence in their music however, showing their Mississippi roots. The band caught a lot of flac in the music world for playing at Donald Trump's Presidential inauguration but I really don't hold that against them. I really don't listen to music or artists to form my political opinions. I listen to them for their music. My favorite band of all time is Pearl Jam and they lean to the left. 3 Doors Down leans to the right. Who really gives a fuck?!! If you're taking your political cues from rock bands then I can't help you with your issues..

TEN 3 DOORS DOWN SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Away From The Sun
2. Kryptonite
3. Let Me Go
4. Here Without You
5. Be Like That
6. Landing In London
7. It's Not My Time
8. Let Me Be Myself
9. In The Dark
10. Here By Me

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Song Of The Week: 5/27/18







Song: "Bulimic"

Artist: The Used

Album: "The Used"

Year: 2002

Place Of Origin: Orem, Utah

Years Active: 2001 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Bulimic" appears to be a song about putting your drug habits and abuse behind you. Bert McCracken, vocalist for The Used, did deal with drug issues early on in his life, even before he was in The Used. When The Used was about to break, McCracken was looking forward to all he was going to see and soak in as his band took off and luckily, he left drugs behind. He felt that the drugs were just a waste of time and weighing him down and perhaps holding him back from the journey he was about to embark on. The classic story of how at the beginning, the drugs work for you and eventually, they start working against you. Thankfully, McCracken got a hold of his habit. Others like Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley never could.

THE USED DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

2002 - The Used (Reprise Records)
2003 - Maybe Memories (Reprise Records)
2004 - In Love And Death (Reprise Records)
2007 - Lies For The Liars (Reprise Records)
2007 - Berth (Reprise Records)
2012 - Vulnerable (Hopeless Records)
2014 - Imaginary Enemy (Hopeless Records)
2016 - Live & Acoustic At The Palace (Hopeless Records)
2017 - The Canyon (Hopeless Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF THE USED:

The Used formed as a band back in 2001, hailing from Orem, Utah. The members of the band were basically homeless at the time they got together. They managed to get their demo in the hands of John Feldman, who was in the ska/punk band Goldfinger. He took a liking to the band and took them to play live shows in Los Angeles where they were eventually signed to Reprise Records. Feldman would produce the band's debut album, 2002's "The Used". This album definitely left a mark, spawning four singles, "A Box Full Of Sharp Objects", "The Taste Of Ink", "Buried Myself Alive" and "Blue And Yellow". Ironically, it was their next release, 2003's "Maybe Memories", that shot the band to fame. Ironic being that "Maybe Memories" was basically a compilation of b-sides and live cuts. This is the band's only platinum album. 2004's "In Love And Death" was mostly written about lead singer Bert McCracken's girlfriend who passed away. The Used finished out their contract with Reprise with the releases "Lies For The Liars", "Artwork" and the live album "Berth". The band moved to Hopeless Records for their 2012 release, "Vulnerable". The band has remained with Hopeless Records as of this date, seeing the release of their 2014 album "Imaginary Enemy" as well as their very first live acoustic album, "Live & Acoustic At The Palace". The band's most recent album is 2017's "The Canyon". The Used are sometimes classified as emo or screamo. They definitely have some pop elements and some punk elements. They can be at times noisy, and at other times mellow. They meld all of these elements very well. In fact, in my mind, they are at the apex of this particular genre. Similar bands you ask? I would say The Used's style is rather similar to bands like My Chemical Romance, From First To Last, Story Of The Year, Silverstein and The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. The Used have been a very active band, squeezing six full length albums, two live albums, a compilation as well as a few EP's in their 17 year career. They also tour extensively. All of their albums have charted on the Billboard 200, in fact four of their albums peaked in the top 10. While I enjoy all of their albums, I think their self-titled debut is a masterpiece. "A Box Full Of Sharp Objects" is just an amazing song, one of my favorites of all time. The whole album is just awesome. If you enjoy good melodies, sometimes good screams and very personal lyrics, then you would definitely be smart to listen to The Used.

TEN THE USED SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Maybe Memories
2. A Box Full Of Sharp Objects
3. Take It Away
4. The Bird And The Worm
5. Blood On My Hands
6. I Come Alive
7. I Caught Fire
8. Rise Up Lights
9. Cut Up Angels
10. Cry

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Song Of The Week: 5/20/18







Song: "Solitude"

Artist: Jerry Cantrell

Album: "Degradation Trip Volumes 1 + 2"

Year: 2002

Place Of Origin: Tacoma, Washington

Years Active: 1983 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Solitude" is a song that appears to be about being isolated from the outside world. When Jerry Cantrell was writing songs for "Degradation Trip", he basically secluded himself in a house with his guitars and a 4-track recorder. All the demons he had inside came pouring out in the music and lyrics of the songs for this album. He almost felt like he drove himself insane by the process and vowed that he would never record like that again. What was left was an extremely personal album that not only shed light on his own struggles but touched on his relationship with the late Layne Staley as well.

JERRY CANTRELL DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1998 - Boggy Depot (Columbia Records)
2002 - Degradation Trip Volumes 1 + 2 (Roadrunner Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF JERRY CANTRELL:

Born in Tacoma, Washington in 1966, Jerry Cantrell began playing guitar seriously at the age of 17. He moved to Dallas, Texas for a short time but soon returned to the Pacific Northwest. In 1986, he was playing for a band called Diamond Lie. It was around this time that he went to a concert for a band called Alice N' Chains, who were fronted by Layne Staley. Cantrell wanted to form a new band and Staley gave him the number of Sean Kinney who joined to play drums. Mike Starr joined in on bass. He was the brother of Kinney's girlfriend. The group wanted Staley to be the lead singer but he didn't want to at first so the band brought in a bunch of terrible singers for tryouts while Layne was present. Finally, he joined the band and they took the name Alice In Chains. Alice In Chains, of course, is legendary. One of the biggest bands out of the 90's and Cantrell was a main songwriter and contributed vocals along with Staley. It was the harmonizing between the two singers that really set this band apart. The music could be so heavy yet the vocals were amazing together. From 1990, with the release of their debut "Facelift", to 1995, with their self-titled release, Alice In Chains was on top of the rock world, alongside fellow Seattle bands Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana. Drugs were taking over the band, however, and none were more affected than Layne Staley. The band's last live appearance featuring Staley would be on July 3, 1996. Staley would become more and more of a recluse after this time, slowly succumbing to his heroin addiction. Cantrell, meanwhile, did not want to start a solo career. He always wanted to be the guitarist/vocalist for Alice In Chains, but with Staley's condition, his hand was almost forced to do some solo stuff. The first thing he did was record the song "Leave Me Alone" in 1996 for "The Cable Guy" soundtrack. In 1998, Cantrell released his debut full length solo album, "Boggy Depot" which featured the singles "Cut You In" and "My Song". As I said earlier, Cantrell locked himself in a house for four months to write songs for his next effort, 2002's "Degradation Trip". This album was released just two months after Layne Staley tragically died and Cantrell dedicated the album to him. In 2005, Alice In Chains began reuniting with guest vocalists to perform at various benefit shows. Eventually, Comes With The Fall frontman William DuVall would join the band as second vocalist and guitarist. Alice In Chains were back! The band has since released two more albums, 2009's "Black Gives Way To Blue" and 2013's "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here". Since June of 2017, Alice In Chains have been working on their newest album which is set for release in the summer of 2018. In February of 2017, Cantrell recorded a solo track, "A Job To Do" for the movie soundtrack "John Wick: Chapter Two". With Chains back in business, Cantrell's solo career has taken a back seat, but as I said earlier, Cantrell himself prefers it this way as he would rather be part of a band than a solo artist. He has a tremendous legacy, both as a songwriter and as a guitarist. Alice In Chains' sludgy riffs and harmonizing vocals make them unique to their craft and highly influential to many bands who came after them. I love the solo stuff but I'm also happy that Cantrell and Alice In Chains are still going strong.

TEN JERRY CANTRELL SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. My Song
2. Cut You In
3. Anger Rising
4. Dickeye
5. Angel Eyes
6. Hurt A Long Time
7. 31/32
8. Leave Me Alone
9. Psychotic Break
10. A Job To Do

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Song Of The Week: 5/13/18







Song: "Deathwish"

Artist: No Motiv

Album: "Winterlong" EP

Year: 2011

Place Of Origin: Oxnard, CA

Years Active: 1995 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

Couldn't find the lyrics to "Deathwish" online and couldn't totally make out all the lyrics after a few listens. The dictionary definition of "deathwish" is "the consious or unconcious desire for the death of oneself or of another". So, perhaps that's what the band was shooting for with this song. Either way, the song has a killer vibe. Almost Queens Of The Stone Age like.

NO MOTIV DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1996 - Cynical (Edge Records)
1998 - Scarred (Edge Records)
1998 - And The Sadness Prevails (Vagrant Records)
2001 - Diagram For Healing (Vagrant Records)
2004 - Daylight Breaking (Vagrant Records)

CURRENT STATUS OF NO MOTIV:

No Motiv formed as a band back in 1995, part of the tight knit punk rock scene of Oxnard, California which also included bands like Ten Foot Pole and Ill Repute. The band released two albums through Edge Records, 1996's "Cynical" and 1998's "Scarred", which basically featured unreleased demos. No Motiv signed with Vagrant Records in 1998 and released "And The Sadness Prevails". This album started to generate some buzz for the band. 2001's "Diagram For Healing" was another solid album for No Motiv but it was 2004's "Daylight Breaking" that garnered the band it's most success. This album reached #36 on Billboard's Top Independent albums chart and featured the killer song, "Into The Darkness". In my mind, one of the best songs to come out at that time. Just an awesome tune!! It would be seven years before we would hear from No Motiv again. Finally, in 2011, the band released the six song "Winterlong" EP. Unfortunately, this would be the last No Motiv release to come out. The band hasn't officially broken up and their Facebook page is still very active, but they have only gotten together to play a few shows together in the last six or seven years. All the members have other projects that they work on but no word if they will get back together to work on new No Motiv material. No Motiv's style is often considered early emo, or emo before it went corporate and sucked!! They incorporate catchy hooks and melodies while maintaining their punk edge. Not quite skate punk, but in a comfortable area in between skate punk and full on pop punk. I'd say their style is similar to bands like 1208, Autopilot Off, Letter Kills, The Movielife and Midtown. No Motiv never quite made it over the hump of success as a band, but they are pretty solid. If you haven't heard their last three full lengths, "And The Sadness Prevails", "Diagram For Healing" and "Daylight Breaking", as well as their latest EP "Winterlong", then you're missing out on some really good music. No Motiv is a definite underrated band in my eyes.

TEN NO MOTIV SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Into The Darkness
2. Give Me Strength
3. Stay
4. Throw In The Towel
5. Independence Day
6. Sunday At 6:00PM
7. The Waiting Hurt
8. Beginning From The End
9. Celebrate
10. Brand New Day

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Song Of The Week: 5/6/18







Song: "Double Standard"

Artist: Face To Face

Album: "How To Ruin Everything"

Year: 2002

Place Of Origin: Victorville, California

Years Active: 1991 - present



WHAT I THINK THE SONG IS ABOUT:

"Double Standard" appears to be a song about two people who have two different ideas of how a relationship works. The vocalist believes there is no level playing field if he is the one that is always giving and getting nothing in return. I'm not so sure it has to be a "love" relationship. It very well could be, but it could also be a business relationship or any type of partnership where two people are working towards a common goal.

FACE TO FACE DISCOGRAPHY (Full length albums only):

1992 - Don't Turn Away (Dr. Strange Records)
1995 - Big Choice (Victory Music)
1996 - Face To Face (A & M Records)
1998 - Live (Vagrant Records)
1999 - Ignorance Is Bliss (Beyond Records)
1999 - Standards & Practices (Vagrant Records)
2000 - Reactionary (Vagrant Records)
2002 - How To Ruin Everything (Vagrant Records)
2011 - Laugh Now, Laugh Later (People Like You Records)
2013 - Three Chords And A Half Truth (Rise Records)
2016 - Protection (Fat Wreck Chords)

CURRENT STATUS OF FACE TO FACE:

Face To Face formed as a band back in 1991, with Trever Keith on vocals and guitar, Matt Riddle on bass and Rob Kurth on drums. Their very first album, 1992's "Don't Turn Away", featured the song "Disconnected" which started giving the band some following especially in the southern California punk scene. The band was asked to re-record the song for their second release, "Big Choice", in 1995. Matt Riddle also left the band at this time and was replaced by Scott Shiflett. The success of "Disconnected" and the subsequent rise of punk rock in the mid-90's with bands like The Offspring, Rancid and Green Day led to Face To Face signing with major label A & M Records for the release of their self titled album in 1996. Being on a major would only last that one album however for Face To Face. In 1999, the band threw it's fans a curve ball with the release of "Ignorance Is Bliss". This album strayed from the melodic, catchy three chord punk rock songs that Face To Face was known for and went in a more mainstream, almost emo like direction. For a while, Trever Keith kind of disowned this album, refusing to play any of the songs live, but soon he came around and began playing those songs, in fact, Face To Face did a whole tour in honor of the album. 2000's "Reactionary" saw Face To Face get back to their punk rock roots as did 2002's "How To Ruin Everything". Those two albums were released through Vagrant Records which had the longest relationship with the band than any other label. By 2005, lots of things were going on within the ranks of Face To Face. Original drummer Rob Kurth left the band in 1997 and was replaced by Pete Parada. Second guitarist Chad Yaro, who joined the band in 1994, decided to leave the band in 2000. The feeling within the band was that maybe it was time to step away. What started as a hiatus was later said to be an official break up in 2004. Luckily for fans of Face To Face, the break up was short lived. The band got back together in 2008 with Keith on guitar and vocals, Shiflett on bass, Yaro returning on guitar and new drummer Danny Thompson as Parada joined The Offspring. The band's first album after their hiatus was a triumphant return. 2011's "Laugh Now, Laugh Later" put Face To Face right back on the punk rock map. The band hooked up with Rise Records for 2013's "Three Chords And A Half Truth". The band's most recent release was 2016's "Protection". This album was released through legendary punk rock label Fat Wreck Chords in what seems to be a match made in heaven for label and band. When you think punk rock bands of the 90's, lots of names come up. Face To Face has to be one of the most respected of all of those bands who came out. They're kind of like, gruffy punk, for lack of a better term. No nonsense, three chords, melodic and gravelly vocals. I'd say they are similar in sound to bands like 88 Fingers Louis, Good Riddance, The Bouncing Souls, Hot Water Music and the Street Dogs. The foundation of their music has been done by countless bands, but it's something about the delivery of that music that makes Face To Face stand on their own. The great news is that since they've returned from their little hiatus, Face To Face seems to be firing on on cylinders. Three more albums, constant touring, and look out for a brand new all acoustic album coming soon from this incredible punk rock outfit!

TEN FACE TO FACE SONGS YOU SHOULD CHECK OUT:

1. Disappointed
2. It's Not All About You
3. The New Way
4. The Devil You Know (God Is A Man)
5. Double Crossed
6. Disconnected
7. Blind
8. You Lied
9. Right As Rain
10. That's Entertainment (The Jam cover)