Gameface has been around for more than a decade, and for a band with a sound this accessible, it's astonishing that they *haven't* hit it big yet. Any of the new breed of emotional pop-punk bands [Brand New, Taking Back Sunday, the Starting Line, et al.] you've been shelling out your hard earned cash for probably owes a great deal to this band, whether they realize it or not. Few groups in any genre last this long, so this is a testament to the band's persistance, if nothing else.
But persistence doesn't equal relevance, so the main question here is: does Gameface still have it?
Yes and no. Four To Go, while eons better than the group's dismal last effort, Always On, doesn't come close to the greatness that the band set with the Cupcakes EP as well as Every Last Time, unarguably their best album [and easily one of the genre's best, too]. So essentially, it falls somewhere in between those bookends.
"This Old House" is a barnburner of an opener, and I don't ever recall hearing Jeff Caudill this mad before. This newfound anger appears later on in "Don't Get Me Started," which receives the dubious distinction of being the first Gameface song in the history of the band that uses a vulgarity [referring to "15 year old sluts popping out babies like a fucking factory"].
Caudill's lyrics have always been rather predictable, usually being about one of the following topics:
It's not rocket science, but it's good and catchy nonetheless [and when was the last time you sang the NASA theme song, anyway?].
The biggest downfall of this disc falls in it's length. Too many of these songs cross the four-minute mark, and two tracks push a whopping five and a half minutes, which is pure blasphemy in this genre. Occasionally I even caught myself looking at the "time remaining" ticker in some of the 3 minute songs, showing me that even the best of these songs could have benefited from a bit more reworking [does a chorus really have to be repeated a half dozen times at the song's end?].
Faults aside, this album shows an upswing in Gameface's overall sound - it doesn't hurt that the recording itself is really crisp and just begs to be turned up louder. There are more gems than duds on this disc, and that's about all anyone can ask for. If you're new to the band, get Every Last Time and Cupcakes first, but place this third on your "to get" list.
When You've Had Enough
Four Chords, Seven Years
Stream the entire album here