Face To Face/Dropkick Murphys - Split CD (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Face To Face / Dropkick Murphys

Split CD (2002)


In a true, "Clash of Titans" style, California's Face to Face play host to Boston natives, the Dropkick Murphys. Hopefully, both sides a have come to play with their A-game, as this should be a match-up to remember.

First, the field conditions. To begin, fans unfortunately were forced to pay a stiff $10-$12 from many vendors to witness such a short contest, just a mere 3 songs per competitor. But hopefully, some will rejoice in the quality of the packaging, which boasts an outer cover, depicting a classic football theme. Enough of the logistics, on to the game...

Face to Face starts it off with a new track, aptly titled "Fight or Flight". Trevor Keith sounds hauntingly familiar to game veteran Dave Smalley (of Down By Law, Dag Nasty fame) in this one. At times, it seems that Keith's "Ignorance is Bliss" voice is fighting to come out. But Keith keeps his poise and with fellow teammates manages to put 3 points on the board. Nothing bad, nothing great. On their next possession, F2F decides to steal from the opposition's playbook, covering the classic Murphy track, "Road of the Righteous". Although the team of Face to Face contrast extremely from their Bostonian opponents, they pull this off in a jaw-dropping fashion. Once again, Keith's powerful voice leads the team to an amazing performance, and right into the endzone, touchdown! Add 7 points for those of you scoring at home. Finally, F2F opts to close out with another cover, Stiff Little Finger's "Wasted Life". Unfortunately, Keith is unable to lead another drive the length of the field. Where his voice is often a deadly weapon, it appears to be his demise in this attempt. A good track, but it just seemed to be missing that spark. They add on 3 more points, giving the boys from Cali a total of 13.

As DKM handles on their first possession, magic fills the air. For this drive, they have brought in Kay Hanley, a fellow Boston product. Kay's voice along with back-up vocalist Ken Casey, compliment each other in perfect harmony. Team frontman Al Barr occasionally chimes in with his patented gruff voice. The song seems to carry along through several tempo changes, but that's not to say it gets off course. Without question, this will go down in the highlight reels. An easy touchdown for the Murphys, and with Hanley's contribution, the 2-point conversion is awarded, starting the Murphys off with an impressive 8 points. Next, the Murphys come with a cover, often performed on tour performances, the infamous anti-anthem, "Fortunate Son" by Credence Clearwater Revival. Unfortunately, the studio wasn't as kind. The Murphys as a unit, are incredible musicians, but Al Barr's strong voice seems to drown that out. His voice is almost all you hear. Which is a shame, as this song has some incredible riffs and beats. The shout-along choruses are enough to get Murphys on the board again with 3 points. To close out the game, the Dropkicks elected to go with The Press' "21 Guitar Salute". A bold move, but once again, the Murphys have pulled it off. Barr's more harmonic voice, combined Matt Kelly's incredible work behind the throne, and of course, the unstoppable Spicy McHaggis on the bagpipes, give the Murphys the extra game winning push. Touchdown!

So there we have it folks, the Dropkick Murphys pick up the win on the road with our final score, DKM 18, F2F 13. All in all, the outstanding overall production quality of this match-up should be noted as well.

This has been a review of the Dropkick Murphys versus Face to Face. Any reproduction without the written consent of Punknews.org and Sickboi is punishable by a swift kick to your ass.