I was a little curious getting this CD because I didnâ€™t really know Face to Face all that well; pretty much all I knew was the discâ€™s opening track â€œDisconnectedâ€. It sucks that I hadnâ€™t tuned into them earlier; each of the tracks on â€œShoot The Moonâ€ 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 (Swinginâ€™ Utters), There is no time to really get oneâ€™s breath during each of these fiery crashes; â€œPastelâ€ 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 â€œShoot The Moonâ€ looks backward while Treverâ€™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 â€œYou Liedâ€; 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; â€œA-OKâ€ mixes a lot of the catchy style of the earlier tracks with a nuanced, contemplative bass/guitar dynamic and vocals full of longing.
â€œItâ€™s Not Overâ€ 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 bandâ€™s biggest hit (Disconnected) both starting and ending the disc, the end result is that â€œShoot The Moonâ€ is like a comprehensive account of the bandâ€™s live and times. The hint of longing present in Treverâ€™s vocals really make the ending of this band a sorrowful occasion, especially after theyâ€™ve hit listeners hard for an entire disc.
Top Tracks: Disconnected (Live), A-OK
Face To Face â€“ Shoot The Moon: The Essential Collection / 2005 Image / 21 Tracks / http://www.antagonistrecords.com / Reviewed 18 October 2005