I’m not sure how I have remained completely and utterly unaware of Face To Face until now. They had a big time radio hit with “Disconnected” in 1994, which was back in the pre-iPod days of yore when I would still turn on the radio more than semi-annually. Plus, according to the Interwebs, “Disconnected” was featured in the Lori Petty opus, Tank Girl, and the last time I checked I was one of only three or four sad, misguided and maladjusted people in the entire country who have seen that movie more than once (and who will actually admit it).
I suppose the nine-year gap between the band’s last album, How to Ruin Everything, and their latest, Laugh Now, Laugh Later might also have something to do with Face to Face never really making it onto my radar, but now that I’ve greedily devoured every track on Laugh Now, Laugh Later I can happily say that it’s one of the most complete and enjoyable albums I’ve heard in some time. Most would label it “pop-punk,” but I fear that particular description might be too off-putting and narrow. While it exhibits definite punk influences, to me Laugh Now, Laugh Later just sounds like straight up guitar-driven rock ’n’ roll.
You know how you can usually only count on three to five tracks or so from any given album to truly rock, and the rest of the album is mediocre at best? Well, Laugh Now, Laugh Later kicks that convention squarely in the balls. From the outstanding opening track, “Should Anything Go Wrong,” (which almost sounds like it was written on spec for the movie Taken) through the final cut, “Under The Wreckage,” Face to Face keeps the energy up, the tempo brisk, the drums banging and the guitars wailing. The lyrics throughout are evocative and genuine, and many tunes tell immediately familiar stories.
Whether you’re an old fan or, like me, a newcomer to Face to Face, you really need to check out Laugh Now, Laugh Later. It could easily become the soundtrack to your summer.