face to face

Hailing from Victorville, Calif. (the armpit of the world), these So-Cal punk rockers are veterans of the road. For the last 10 years they have consistently put out some of the best power-pop punk, and are respected by fans and critics alike.

David Pilz
Guardian

Along with many other bands coming out of the early ’90s, Face to Face brings an edgy, but pop sound to punk that is all their own amid so many bands that sound seem to just imitate one another.

Face to Face’s seven full-length albums the past decade has seen have reflected some change to their sound, but they remain true to their roots. Still mainly a punk band, they turned away from the path of more mainstream, success-minded groups.

Forming in 1991, Face to Face began as a three-piece of guitar, bass and drums. The coming years saw a series of line-up changes, with the addition of a second guitarist. Along with a number of label switches, they now reside with their own label, Lucky Lady. This offers them the freedom to record the way they want to.

Their most recent release, “”Standards and Practices,”” is a disc of covers. The album is a tribute to both their punk influences and to other “”great bands.”” It features the standout cover of Social Distortion’s “”The KKK Took My Baby Away.””

Face to Face relies more on the D.I.Y. attitude of the hardcore. The previous album of new material, “”Reactionary,”” had its track listing chosen by fans’ votes on MP3.com.

Notably less recognizable than similar sounding bands like Blink-182 or NOFX, Face to Face has kept a closer tie with the underground. With no memorable MTV play and short nationwide radio play for the 1996 self-titled album, the main support has been their touring. The past five years have found the quintet selling out shows in the United States, Europe, Japan and Australia.

San Diego has been no stranger to Face to Face’s touring — they were just here March 3 at ‘Canes. Face to Face also kicked off one of their national tours here.

It really is unsurprising that they are willing to play Sun God — they put fans and music before money. Could these punks be signaling a change in the recent trend of hip-hop dominated Sun God concerts? Is this a sign of a future of rock at Sun God?

Arguably the first real punk band since … well, just about ever, this year’s line-up is far more likely to please a very wide range of people.

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