Having helped generate the first wave of '90s pop-punk, Face to Face was due to profit from the mainstream success of artists like Lit and Blink 182 who had taken their melodic approach to punk songcrafting to new commercial heights. With so much punk credibility to be had, the last thing anyone expected these famous SoCal punkers to do is release a hard rock record; which is exactly what the foursome did when they shipped their first disc for Beyond Records in 1999. From the initial drum and guitar blasts of the record's lead cut "Overcome" Ignorance Is Bliss lets listeners in on the fact that Face to Face would not be limited to the punk genre, and that the quartet's songwriting skills stand up against the most successful of hard rock bands.
No one, least of all Deep Purple themselves, expected the success of 2013's Now What?! It placed at number one on four European album charts and in the Top Ten of six other countries. It also sold exceptionally well: It was certified Gold in Poland, Germany (where it sold over 100,000), the Czech Republic, and Russia – it was the band's first album to crack the U.K.'s Top 40 charts in 20 years. For InFinite, Deep Purple re-enlisted producer Bob Ezrin. At this point, he is almost a sixth member. This the longest running lineup in their history. InFinite is a heavier and more expansive record than its predecessor, but it's not as consistent…
One listen to Lisa Gerrard's The Silver Tree (originally available only digitally, then as an Australia-only import, and finally, as a U.S. release) is enough to convince anybody – who isn't already convinced – that there's a very specific reason she has been courted by directors to compose soundtracks. There are 13 tracks here full of wispy ambient soundscapes, on top of which the former Dead Can Dance vocalist places her almost otherworldly gift of a voice. Sung nearly as prayers or meditative mantras, Gerrard employs monosyllabic glimpses of other languages – and occasionally English – to create her own tapestry of dreams. Some may be tempted to call this "new age" music, but it's so much more melancholy than much of what passes for that trash, and it's nearly sacred in its approach to articulation, creating the feeling in places ("Come Tenderness," "The Sea Whisperer," and "Abwoon," to name a few) that she is actually singing inside a cathedral. In other places, such as "Wandering Star" and "Serenity," her voice offers a drone approach that is as subtle – yet powerful – as her instrumentation.
Outstanding, overlooked relase from Face To Face, worthy of their legacy. Far superior to the massive letdown that was/is Three Chords And A Half Truth. "Staring Back" and "Persona Non Grata" are bonus tracks exclusive to the German release. It's interesting to look back and think about the bands that influenced your musical tastes. I grew up on a steady diet of everything from Guns N' Roses to Run DMC to Black Flag. Eventually I started to lean towards the "grunge" movement of the early '90s, and from the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mudhoney and plethora of others, expanded to punk rock. Bad Religion, Rancid and NOFX were staples of the time, but I've always felt that Face to Face was the band that I not only "discovered" on my own, but ultimately most identified with. I picked up a copy of Big Choice after reading about in a magazine, and was instantly hooked. My fandom undoubtedly peaked during the release of their self-titled LP, which to this day I consider to be the soundtrack of my high school years.