Face to Face - Big Choice (Cover Artwork)

Face to Face

Face to Face: Big ChoiceBig Choice (1995)
Victory Music

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

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

When someone says "..best punk records of all time", the normal, acceptable reaction is to go straight for the standards: London Calling, Complete Discography, Suffer, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Ramones, etc., etc. But rarely do we see someone step up and say something controversial and, .
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When someone says "..best punk records of all time", the normal, acceptable reaction is to go straight for the standards: London Calling, Complete Discography, Suffer, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables, Ramones, etc., etc. But rarely do we see someone step up and say something controversial and, well, almost crazy. Here we go!

"Big Choice" was Face to Face's second full length album, released on their own record label, after a short stint on Dr.Strange Records and Fat Wreck Chords. "Dont Turn Away", the bands debut, is number one on my "all time listened to" list. Face to Face was a three peice at that time, and although "Don't Turn Away" was a beautiful standard for all melodic punk, it did have a simplicity to it that left room for improvement. After some lable troubles, Face to Face added another guitarist and released "Big Choice".

The album is faster, in general, than "Don't Turn Away". In fact, its probably the bands fastest material to date. The second guitar fills in the sound with more melody than ever thought possible, and Trevor's vocals are, as usual, a punk rock treat. Perfect backing vocals are found in nearly every song, adding just enough harmony. This is the first album where the bass lines really stand out, breaking the stereotypical "simple" bass boundries that usually get stuck to socal skate- punk bands. The lyrics are life related and well written, pervaing messages of self dependence, betrayl, and questioning the world. Not to be left out of the talent smorgasboard are the drums. Complicated rolls and fills mixed with solid, lightning quick beats hold the pace with a strong grip. The predictable norm that melodic punk has sucumbed to lately is nowhere to be found here, with stops, light moments, samples and effect changes to keep the listener attentive and on edge at all times. Every element of the band is at its peak performance on "Big Choice".

This record poised Face to Face for their major label jump. I didn't even care that they moved to A&M Records on the following release because of the sheer perfection of "Big Choice". The majors obviously saw what I saw in Face to Face, the potential to become one of the greatest and well loved punk bands of our time. The simplicty of "Don't Turn Away" and the few sub-par songs on "face to face" kept them from being held as high as "Big Choice" in my book. This record is a modern masterpiece, and hopefully will get the recognition it deserves when kids decide to write a record review of their favorite punk album, 20 years from now.


People who liked this also liked:
Face to Face - Don't Turn AwayMinor Threat - Complete DiscographyOperation Ivy - Operation IvyNOFX - Punk In DrublicFace To Face - Face To FaceBad Religion - SufferDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeLagwagon - Let's Talk About FeelingsJawbreaker - Dear YouThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

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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.
Dedricthere (December 17, 2010)

Not as good as Don't Turn away.

sacrifice_for_life1 (June 14, 2007)

whoops, forgot to put my score...

sacrifice_for_life1 (June 14, 2007)

The passion on this album is amazing. The lyrics are so heartfelt in every song. The emotion overflows throughout the entire album. BC is one of the most sensitive albums I've probably ever heard (sensitive without being ridiculous). Yet there's still a great deal of attitude in everything...in the guitars, the drums, the vocals and lyrics. I really enjoy how the guitars sound on this record, but I don't really like how Matt's bass sounds. Also, I dislike some of Trever's vocals honestly. Well no...I guess I mean to say he could have done them better. On the Shoot the Moon: The Essential Collection DVD Trever admits he was sick during the vocals of BC, which explains why he sounds the way he does during certain parts.

I really enjoy how full the album sounds with Yaro on second guitar.

I relate more with this record, but critically I think DTA will always be their best album. However I haven't heard IIB...I think I'd really like it. I'm that prick that always likes the albums that everyone else hated from a band haha. From the things F2F says about IIB on the DVD, I'm titillated to pick it up.

Anyways, BC is a classic. My favourite tracks are Struggle, AOK, You Lied, It's Not Over.

Anonymous (August 29, 2001)

This a great CD, it belongs in the Punk Rock Hall of Fame.

I have always thought this was their best work, it seems more people prefer Don't Turn Away but this is 100 times better. I actaully prefer the rawness of this album, the production isn't the best but I like it that way.

I wish the band played more live stuff from this album, ie. struggle, promises, and late (my all time favorite f2f song).

Anonymous (August 28, 2001)

debt is the oly song i dont like! do you like smoking crack brendan?- fathead

Anonymous (August 27, 2001)

"Debt" is a really good song, so is the opener, the new version of "Disconnected" pounds the shit out of the original, but that's it. The bass lines may be memorable and the vocals maybe great, but the songs are, for the most part, forgettable. "Don't Turn Away" has plenty more classic songs and even the self-titled has more catchy tunes.

FYI: this IS a major release. F2F jumped ship from Fat to A&M with "Over It" (the EP before "B.C."). Victory is just an imprint...


Anonymous (August 27, 2001)

sorry man, but i don't know any of these kids. i got one friend who visits punknews.org regularly. he lives in huntington and always post anonymously, but as for the rest, don't know em. i guess they like my style. anyway, thanks for the complements everyone, but believe me, in hasn't always been this friendly, just read my review of Unwritten Law's self titled album.- fathead

oldpunker (August 26, 2001)

Face to face is one of the best, they continue to put out great music,( yes
iib was good stuff as well) they put on on hell of a show and their cover album sounded like it could have been a f2f album. These guys are killer and i am already looking forward to the next album. F2f..... Always will be one of the best!!!!!

coldjuly (August 26, 2001)

damn fathead...youre getting some props...But, Im starting to wonder if its you commenting on yourself..or some friends commenting..anyway, not being an ass...its pretty funny. It gets a good laugh.

Anonymous (August 26, 2001)

Damn you Fathead, I had a review I was ready to submit....aw well, fuck it. This album is an instant classic. Great review man. I can not compare to brilliance that is Fathead.

Anonymous (August 25, 2001)

ohh my god !!

this album is like the best

my first ever punk cd which set me up as a f2f fan for life.

fathead writes the best reveiws ever!!!!!


coldjuly (August 25, 2001)

If you will watch the F2F video....they say how big choice sounds like an album that was recorded in a week....and thats just what it was. This was first released on victory and then re released on a&m without any changes. Still a landmark record for them though. I dont really have a favorite I like em all.

Anonymous (August 25, 2001)

Good enough songs, but for a major label release you'd expect at least DECENT production. It sounds like they recorded this in a garbage can. Even Don't Turn Away sounds better. Just listen to the bass guitar, it sounds like someone kicking mud.

coldjuly (August 25, 2001)

Yeah....This is one hell of a kick ass record. I liked all of F2F's releases so far. even Ignorance is bliss was good. The song struggle goes on all my punk mix tapes.

Anonymous (August 25, 2001)

I totally agree. Out of all of face to face's releases, Big Choice has grown on me the most with songs like Velocity and AOK. Definitely a disc that should find it's way into everyone's collection.

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