face to face

face to face

Photo by: Nathaniel Shannon

Long-running SoCal punk band face to face released a live album back in 1998, when the group was only seven years old and had a trio of full-lengths to its name. Two decades, six studio albums, and roughly a million shows later, it’s high time face to face recapture their ferocious live performances on an album and remind everyone why they’re icons.

The ninth edition of Fat Wreck Chords’ Live in a Dive 10-18-2019 captures face to face blasting through 12 songs from their storied career in 39 minutes.

“I think that the only reason to do a live record when you’re nearly 30 years into your career as a band is to make a statement to the world,” says vocalist/guitarist Trever Keith. “We’re still playing this vital, intense music. We’re still here and we're not going anywhere.”

Aside from a short hiatus in the 2000s, face to face never really left. In fact, 2016’s Protection was the band’s most blistering album yet, which Live in a Dive perfectly captures in “Bent But Not Broken,” “Double Crossed,” and “I Won’t Say I’m Sorry.” The live recording also pulls from the 1992 classic Don’t Turn Away as well as Face to Face, Reactionary, How to Ruin Everything, and Laugh Now, Laugh Later.

face to face’s lengthy discography could’ve easily filled a live double album, but Keith wanted to keep it concise: The band selected highlights from their three-night stand at Brooklyn’s St. Vitus in early 2019, 12 songs that fit neatly on one vinyl album.

“I think initially the biggest challenge for me was to figure out how to make a good track listing without repeating ourselves, because we’re still playing a lot of the same songs that we recorded for our first live album,” Keith says. “But the best part about this new live record is we played some really great songs from our catalog that had been missing from our live set. Now they'll probably become staples at our shows.”

Live in a Dive is a stark reminder that face to face remains a force, even as they approach their 30th anniversary. Take note, world.