Tuesday, February 21, 2006

review o' the day vs. album of the day: pop-punk strikes back!

Face to Face
"Shoot the Moon: The Essential Collection"

I'm not afraid to admit that I like Face to Face and I've seen them a few times, granted that was still in high school, but I have pretty fond memories of rocking out to this band. So how essential is this collection? Not very, I'm afraid. Unfortunately for the band, their best songs are on their self-titled album on A&M. Their final album, "How to Ruin Everything," was pretty bad. It wasn't a trainwreck or anything, but it just seemed like they weren't even trying and a few of those tracks appear on this comp. Unlike many of their pop-punk peers, singer/guitarist Trever Keith found a songwriting structure that he liked and stuck with it -- for over 10 years. That's a lot of time to write the same songs over and over again. For any band that has one album that is more or less the milestone of their career (see: Jimmy Eat World, Nas, Rakim or Beck), having a greatest hits package is pretty useless. Even as a fan of Face to Face, I wouldn't recommend this at all.

Blink 182
"Blink 182"

Blink 182 is a band that got their start around the same time as Face to Face, but over the course of their last two studio albums, we got to see a pretty big change in their musical stylings, largely in part to the addition of Travis Barker. Much of Blink's fan base is/was made up of equally bratty kids who feel that the most punk rock thing they could do is swear up a storm in public, which probably made them seem more ignorant than actually punk. Musically, Blink 182 "matured" while their fans went off to discover bands like Sum 41, New Found Glory and Brand New.

Their final self-titled album is a testament of how an idea is better than the finished product. There are more misses than hits on this record, but the songs that are good are damn good. Throughout "Blink 182" there are some electronic interludes, hints of new wave, and the package and enhanced content itself was designed by an artist whose previous work is better suited for Tribal Streetwear and Joker ads. While not their best album, or even a good album, Blink 182 tried to shake the sheets and that's a lot better than all these shitty newbie bands who aren't trying to deviate from what makes them money.


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