Face to Face – No Way Out but Through (Fat Wreck Chords, 2021)

This is the new Face to Face record out on Fat Wreck. Tony asked me to review it as he said he finds them ‘dull as dishwater’ (a toned down quotation if ever there was one – Tony). Even the Fat Wreck site describes it as having ‘arena sized choruses and big guitars’, which sounds a bit passive aggressive on their part given their historical standpoints on these things.

Now, as it happens, I actually like Face To Face a lot, and therefore I feel duty-bound to defend them.

First up, this album sounds great. The production is absolutely top notch and you’d struggle to find another bunch of middle aged guys this able to play melodic punk rock. Everyone involved here really is at the top of their game.


The sound I would say is pretty ‘classic’ F2F (generic? – Tony) so no complaints there, some decent woahs too.

So, objectively, it’s very good…

Subjectively though, I’m not 100% convinced. It’s a little too polished for me, and the lyrics are a bit of a sticking point too; very much ‘I’m just a dude doing my best, gotta keep going, you’ve let me down, I’m going to find my own way’ sort of stuff… and just a little bit “fortune cookie” in places. I started to think about the bit in Mystery Men when Mr Furious starts completing The Sphinx’s sentences half way through…

As my mate Sam once said though, “not everything has to mean something”, which is sort of where I’m at with this, if you want a great sounding melodic punk record, this is for you. Maybe if you’ve just broken up with someone and have signed up for Tough Mudder in order to rediscover yourself, then perhaps it could be pretty inspiring, or just exactly what you need.

It’s far from dishwater. In fact, it’s pretty bloody good, but… its definitely not going to change your life.

Bundie: 7/10

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