Face to Face - All For Nothing EP [10-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Face to Face

All For Nothing EP [10-inch] (2012)

Antagonist Records

Last year saw the triumphant return of '90s punk stalwarts Face to Face. Reunion record Laugh Now…Laugh Later found the band plugging right back into where it left off, thankfully. Now, the band is keeping those good vibes going with the All For Nothing EP, which is really just a single with two covers. Still, more Face to Face is always a good thing.

"All For Nothing" was somewhat of an odd track on Laugh Now. It was a lot poppier and cleaner compared to, say, "Should Anything Go Wrong" or "Blood in the Water." It's a great (anti-)love song and it's super catchy; it just kind of comes out of nowhere on the record. Here, the song is allowed to shine better. Face to Face redid the track, giving it all the bells and whistles the song needed. It's mostly little tweaks--the guitar intro is shortened, the solo is pushed more into the foreground--but these switches make the song really stand out. I don't say this often, but I prefer the single edit.

The B-sides are two '80s covers, Peter Schilling's "Major Tom (Coming Home)" and the Pretenders' "Back on the Chain Gang." Face to Face has established a reputation over the years for solid covers. They're not always the most imaginative, but when the band finds the right song, it owns the material. That's what happens with "Major Tom." Face to Face gives the track some grit and rocks it out while maintaining some of the original's post-punk funk. It's great.

"Back on the Chain Gang" feels a little weird though, if only because it's really faithful, and hearing frontman Trever Keith hit Chrissie Hynde's high notes doesn't quite fit with the mood established by "Major Tom." It's actually a great B-side to complement "All For Nothing;" it just doesn't flow that well coming after "Major Tom." Still, it's a minor quibble. While All For Nothing is arguably a fans-only release, it's still a fun one.