Reviews Face To Face Laugh Now, Laugh Later

Face To Face

Laugh Now, Laugh Later

By the end of 2004, Face to Face had disbanded and there were no signs that would have suggested they’d ever write or play again. It was 4 years later that a glimmer of hope began to shine when the band announced a run of reunion shows. Eventually, word broke out that there would be a new album, and the punk rock world was elated. After nearly a decade, Face to Face make their return with Laugh Now, Laugh Later and show that they can still pump out the jams.

Face to Face pick up right where they left off 9 years ago with the fast-paced opener, “Should Anything Go Wrong.” Trever Keith’s vocals are stronger than ever, and Chad Yaro declares his return in the bridge after having left before the band’s last album, How to Ruin Everything. Not only are Face to Face great at writing punk rock songs, but they also write some of the best poppier punk rock songs like the catchy next track, “It’s Not All About You.” Yaro comes up with the simplest harmony in the chorus, but it’s one that sticks out. The band’s new drummer, Danny Thompson, kicks off the highly melodic number, “The Invisible Hand”—a personal favorite. It’s another catchy number chock-full of “whoas,” but more mid-tempo than the last. Now, up to this point, Scott Shifflet’s been noticeable but hasn’t stood out as much as I would have liked. One of my favorite components behind Face to Face are Scott Shiflett’s bass riffs and their rhythm section. Fortunately, he takes the reigns on the following song, “Bombs Away.” He opens up with a chunky bass-line before Keith comes in with his stalwart vocals.

“Bombs Away” steered the album off its catchier tone and down a bit of a darker one. It continues on with, “Blood in the Water.” This track sounds a bit sluggish, and by the next one, “What You Came For,” you would think that the band were getting a bit tired. Despite it being more fast paced, there’s just something in Keith’s vocals that sound worn out. The next song, “I Don’t Mind and You Don’t Matter,” is one that throws me for a loop. I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, but the song sounds out of place on the album to me. And like its predecessor, the track “Stopgap” isn’t one I can get too excited about either. It has this faux-intimidating semblance about it that I just can’t get into. The next song, “All For Nothing,” on the other hand is another personal favorite. There’s something more honest about this song that reels me in—from Keith’s vocal performance to the vicarious melody. After a re-recording of a b-side from Trever Keith’s solo album, we reach the closer, “Under the Wreckage.” The most urgent track we’ve heard since the midway point. It’s very energetic and rounds out the album well.

Laugh Now, Laugh Later starts out strong, but halfway through, it begins to struggle—ultimately closing on an average note. It’s a solid release from a band with 20 years behind them, but I wouldn’t say it tops their last effort. Regardless, it’s nice to have Face to Face back and making music again.

7.8 / 10Aaron H
Tor Johnson Records
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7.8 / 10

7.8 / 10

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