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Face to Face - Laugh Now, Laugh Later (Cover Artwork)

Face to Face

Face to Face: Laugh Now, Laugh LaterLaugh Now, Laugh Later (2011)
Antagonist Records

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's interesting to look back and think about the bands that influenced your musical tastes. I grew up on a steady diet of everything from Guns N' Roses to Run DMC to Black Flag. Eventually I started to lean towards the "grunge" movement of the early '90s, and from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, M.
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It's interesting to look back and think about the bands that influenced your musical tastes. I grew up on a steady diet of everything from Guns N' Roses to Run DMC to Black Flag. Eventually I started to lean towards the "grunge" movement of the early '90s, and from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and plethora of others, expanded to punk rock. Bad Religion, Rancid and NOFX were staples of the time, but I've always felt that Face to Face was the band that I not only "discovered" on my own, but ultimately most identified with. I picked up a copy of Big Choice after reading about in a magazine, and was instantly hooked. My fandom undoubtedly peaked during the release of their self-titled LP, which to this day I consider to be the soundtrack of my high school years.

The next few albums are the topic of many arguments over the years, and I won't go down that path. I will say I appreciate each in their own unique way and where I was at in life at that time.

The band announced their break-up in 2004, and almost 10 years later, Face to Face have reunited and released a new record, Laugh Now, Laugh Later. The opening track, "Should Anything Go Wrong" is fast-paced and reminiscent of the band's last effort, 2002's How to Ruin Everything, or maybe even their somewhat rare EP, 1994's Over It. Following is the record's first single, "It's Not All About You", a very catchy number with a very interesting twist. All of the classic F2F elements are there: driving melody and lots of "whoa"s and "hey"s. But then towards the end of the track is an interesting breakdown/transition. Instead of building down and then building back up, the melody drops completely, giving the false impression of a transition into another song (in a Green Day via Dookie and Insominiac kinda way). However, the buildup occurs into the familiar chords of the song, and all is well again.

One of the best elements of Face to Face has always been bassist Scott Shiflett. In terms of style, he's one of my favorite bassists of all time. The track "Bombs Away" reinforces my confidence in that statement, with its throbbing bass intro and overall heavily rhythmic emphasis.

The only song on Laugh Now, Laugh Later I haven't been able to get into is "What You Came For". Musically, it sounds like a leftover from the sessions for 1996's self-titled (a good thing), with vocalist Trevor Keith singing in a manner similar to Ignorance Is Bliss. To many, this may seem like a good combination, but it comes off somewhat awkward and disjointed.

Collectively, Laugh Now, Laugh Later is a record making a statement, without making a statement. It reaffirms everything I've loved about this band for so many years without rehashing the past or trying to reinvent the wheel. It's the kind of record that doesn't sound like a "reunion" album, but the next offering in a history of solid releases.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
longshot (January 27, 2014)

This is still such a great album.

Claro (June 14, 2011)

Hey...the Face to Face guys can lay down a doodle. And they own more black t-shirts than Strung Out. Cool interview: http://www.theinertia.com/music-art/face-to-face-interview-punk/

boxcar (June 1, 2011)

Found the new one to be a bit dull at first listen, but it totally grew on me during car rides on sunny days! Vinyl should be here any day!

I still don't get the hate for "Reactionary". Was just spinnin the Lp and those are some of F2F's most powerful and catchy moments. They kept a bit of the melancholy of "Ignorance..." (which I like), but combined it with their older sound. Way better than "How to..." in my opinion.

Dycelot (May 29, 2011)

these guys can do alot better. this is, however, a step in the right direction. (i hated "how to ruin everything")
i think the high reviews this album is receiving is a result of high anticipation due to their lengthy break up, and the fact that it
didn't suck. feels like some filler made it in there because they oddly rushed the songwriting and coupled that with a drawn out
post production phase. correct me if i'm wrong. this should have been out in november.

Axl09 (May 28, 2011)

The album is a little more pop-ish (don't know if thats a word) then a lot of their other albums. But Face to Face's solid vocals and utterly catchy melodies are still here. I agree with this review for the most part. I didn't like this album at first but after two or three listens it grew on me. Blood in the water can rank up with some of their best songs. The only song i skip is "what you came for". Is it there best album? Not even close, but it is a solid return for a good punk band.

Definitely worth looking up some songs at least to give them a listen

ProdigalSon75 (May 26, 2011)

"Following is the record's first single, "It's All About You"

the song is actually called it's not all about you

paulrulzdood (May 26, 2011)

What I like:
it's new F2F. When they broke up in 2004, I said "oh well, i still have their albums and i got to see them live a few times". To see them live again and hear new F2F tunes is cool in itself if for no other reason than to stoke my inner 21 year old and the nostalgia appeal
the first 2 tracks are pretty much on par with the best songs in their back catalog
it's no bullshit, straight up old-school 90s F2F. nothing new and experimental, just picks up right where they left off
the A-side (tracks 1-6) are all pretty damn good, especailly tracks 1 and 2.

What I don't like:
overall, it's probably their weakest album other than "ignorance" (sorry, i'm not one that ever got into that one). But, I am one of those that thinks "how to ruin" and "reactionary" kick ass and are better than this album.
the B-side (tracks 7-11) aren't very good. "all for nothing" is cool in its light/melodic way, but the other 4 songs are pretty weak, making the album as a whole pretty average

but in the end, i'm mostly just happy they put out a new record and i've gotten to see them live again twice.

Paul

BluthCo (May 25, 2011)

Good album overall, though I think I might have appreciated it a bit more if Face to Face a band I "grew up" with. I've always liked them, but the only other album of theirs I've listened to is Big Choice and I heard it for the first time a couple years ago. This might be one I enjoy more on second listen.

88fl_rules (May 25, 2011)

This is good. Not like don't turn away but the songwriting is still strong and Trever's vocals are better than ever

Sickboi (May 25, 2011)

How to Ruin Everything was their last proper full-length, and it came out 9 years ago...

-chris

Seth73 (May 25, 2011)

""What You Came For" is probably my least favorite song. Just seems to drag on. I listen to about half of it then skip to the next song.

lmchc (May 25, 2011)

7 years is not almost 10 years.

oldpunkerforever (May 25, 2011)

I want to add that the turnout for the show in bmore sunday suprised me, not as many people and quite few " meatheads" or what the org people would call "bros", my girl thought f2f was great as were the Darlings ( who opened)-oldpunker-

mik88 (May 25, 2011)

Correction: I could put F2F on at a party, and people WOULDN'T complain too much.

mik88 (May 25, 2011)

@danperrone I've been into F2F since Big Choice, which I loved by the way. I can't really speak for all F2F fan reactions with Ignorance is Bliss, but for me personally I wasn't too upset. For those of you who remember, before Ignorance, they put out a cover album from the same sessions. The cover album sounded a lot like Ignorance, so when the latter came out, we kind of knew which direction the band was going in. I did like some songs on the record, but for me, Face to Face was more of a comfort band. Let me explain this: At the time, the bands I listened to regularly were Rancid, NOFX, Lagwagon, Bad Religion, NUFAN, etc... Pretty much your greatest hits of Epitaph and Fat. Coming from a small town in Nova Scotia, nobody that I hung out with liked those bands, however Face to Face were one of those groups that I could sneak on the cd player at a party, and people would complain too much. They were just poppy and catchy enough for everybody to like. Ignorance kind of changed that. It was the first F2F album that people didn't like. The band has made good records since, but I feel like F2F never really recovered from Ignorance is Bliss. Its too bad, because this band could easily have made a lot more money. (And yes, money is a factor.)

oldpunkerforever (May 25, 2011)

I have a few things to say about this as I have been a fan for some time and I was just at the bmore show this past sunday. First off, the new songs held up well w the older material and the fans also seemed to enjoy. The first 2 tracks are good ol f2f, the third is where you here the IIB sound mixed in just not to the complete extreme that they pushed on IBB. Best track so far is All for nothing ( also sounded great live). I want to mention too, almost no filler ( just #8). A welcome return for F2F,not bad for a bunch of old dudes like me-oldpunker-

welcome_to_1984 (May 25, 2011)

@danperrone: Yeah we were all shocked. I saw them at the Hollywood Palace on the Ignorance is Bliss tour and everybody was shouting "play old shit!!" They didn't play a single song from the album. Kinda sad in retrospect.

AK3punk (May 25, 2011)

Aoty

someone-yeah (May 24, 2011)

I've only heard their ST album and Shoot the moon but I always dug how well the bass was represented in their tunes. Hopefully this ones got some cool lines.

tenwestchaser (May 24, 2011)

Can't wait to get this. The only place that had it around last Tuesday was FYE for $15 so fuck that. It needs to ship to me faster. Also, not sure why everyone downplays everything F2F did after the Self-Titled. I honestly believe that their best albums started coming out with the release of the S/T. It's rare that I listen to Big Choice and even more rare that I listen to Don't Turn Away. Either way, I don't think the bands ever really released anything that wasn't good. Just don't get the massive love for the first two.

skeetopunk01 (May 24, 2011)

The Invisible Hand and Blood in The Water are my favs. Catchy as hell!

danperrone (May 24, 2011)

i was really late getting into this band, but i really enjoy them now. big choice is clearly their best work, but i also really enjoy ignorance is bliss. for fans of them back in the day...what was the reaction to that album? i assume everyone was confused.

this...ehhh...not feeling it. i know they're older, but they sound a little washed up. however, i saw them last weekend with strung out, and they were excellent.

Daveiam (May 24, 2011)

"What You Came For" is one of the best tracks! The whole album is solid, though.

MuhammadMormon (May 24, 2011)

Surprisingly liked it enough.

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