FACE TO FACE - 'Protection' review
When I got into melodic punk-rock as a teen, FACE TO FACE were one of the first bands that I properly got into, and, despite not loving stuff since the album 'How to Ruin Everything', they've remained one of my favourites. Subsequent to that album, they've released one that I didn't like at all, one that was a little better, and have arrived at this, which, thankfully, is probably the best thing they've done in about ten / fifteen years. For those that aren't familiar with FACE TO FACE, they play melodic punk rock that sits well alongside bands like BAD RELIGION, DESCENDENTS, and THE OFFSPRING's faster stuff, but still has it's own sound, especially in Trever's distinct vocal delivery and arrangements. If ever there was an album to show how crucial Scott is to this band too, then this is it; his basslines on here are absolutely sublime (and are given a lot of moments to shine in the more guitar-bare sections), and Danny's drumming is on point too, especially when they play at speed (they have this particular, awesome speed that they only use once or twice per album, and on here it's on 'I Won't Say I'm Sorry'). As usual, lyrically this is more personal than political, and there are some pretty memorable choruses on here. Even if this isn't quite what they used to be capable of, there are some good songs on here, stylistically falling somewhere between the classics of their self-titled album and 'Reactionary', and their album prior to this, 'Three Chords and a Half Truth', and it's definitely worth checking out if you like that 90s melodic punk sound. A decent effort; I'd recommend the songs 'Double Crossed', 'Say What You Want', and 'Fourteen Fifty-Nine' for something a bit different, but I'd also like to stress how great their previous albums 'Don't Turn Away', their self-titled one, 'Ignorance is Bliss' and 'Reactionary' are, so they're worth checking out too.