Face To Face – Shoot The Moon: The Essential Collection (CD)

I was a little curious getting this CD because I didn’t really know Face to Face all that well; pretty much all I knew was the disc’s opening track “Disconnected”. It sucks that I hadn’t tuned into them earlier; each of the tracks on “Shoot The Moon” is really essential for bridging some of the best bands of the eighties (like the Descendents, Husker Du and The Replacements) with bands in the current era (Swingin’ Utters), There is no time to really get one’s breath during each of these fiery crashes; “Pastel” is really an early high point for the band, as the arrangements that were taken for granted during some of the earlier tracks on this disc are really increased in complexity and sound to make Face to Face that much more catchy.

The reggae-influenced breakdown present on “Shoot The Moon” looks backward while Trever’s impassioned vocals during the track really even set the stage for some of the new-rock out today. The next real hit for the band comes with “You Lied”; not quite the Cali, Unwritten Law-punk that opened out the disc, the track really looks into a more intense brand of arrangement in the style of bands like Fugazi. Later tracks really paint Face to Face with a more sedate sheen; “A-OK” mixes a lot of the catchy style of the earlier tracks with a nuanced, contemplative bass/guitar dynamic and vocals full of longing.

“It’s Not Over” is a maelstrom of fury with the guitars blasting through any of the pale followers that would break onto the scene in the years following Face To Face; the all-in sing-a-long chorus present on the track is pound for pound heavier than any of the metal-punk hybrid sounds that Sum41 could birth. The music that Face to Face played in the thirteen years they existed was what truly could be called pop-punk; when someone like Simple Plan is given the terminology in this day and age, methinks that the guilty party really needs to go and pick up this retrospective to hear the real deal. The inclusion of a few live tracks makes picking up this disc an essential buy; by having the band’s biggest hit (Disconnected) both starting and ending the disc, the end result is that “Shoot The Moon” is like a comprehensive account of the band’s live and times. The hint of longing present in Trever’s vocals really make the ending of this band a sorrowful occasion, especially after they’ve hit listeners hard for an entire disc.

Top Tracks: Disconnected (Live), A-OK

Rating: 8.5/10

Face To Face – Shoot The Moon: The Essential Collection / 2005 Image / 21 Tracks / http://www.antagonistrecords.com / Reviewed 18 October 2005

[JMcQ]

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