Riding a wave of popularity just about to crest, Face to Face released this self-titled disc for A&M Records in 1996. Although their fourth release, Face to Face, is the first that did not contain the alt radio smash "Disconnected." The single "I Won't Lie Down" more than fills the vacancy left by the ultra-catchy "Disconnected" and even generated intense – but brief when compared to its predecessors' – airplay of it's own. Singer/guitarist Trevor Keith's songwriting prowess reaches its highest level without compromising the band's speedy aesthetic. Rhythms shift through manic turns as Keith and co-guitarist Chad Yaro double up on punk power chordings just before splitting apart into expansive counterparts.
The success of the hit single "Disconnected" on Los Angeles radio station KROQ catapulted Face to Face to a new level of popularity, causing their 1995 release, Big Choice, to sell more than 100,000 copies – a first for the southern California punk band. "Disconnected" had appeared on their previous album Over It, but the band redid it for Big Choice, making it a bit heavier and adding a somewhat humorous exchange with a "record producer" about whether to include the song on the album because they didn't want to be labeled sell-outs. The conversation ends with the band declaring "there's no way in hell this song is going on this record" and then launching right into "Disconnected."
Considered by many fans to be a classic, this debut on Fat Wreck Chords (originally released on Doctor Strange, with only a few thousand copies shipped before the company went out of business) qualifies as a '90s punk must-have. The first (and by far the rawest) of three Face to Face recordings to include alt-rock radio mega-hit "Disconnected," this 13-track disc reveals a band on the brink of punk stardom. Don't Turn Away features original members Matt Riddle on bass, Rob Kurth on drums, and singer/guitarist Trevor Keith – the one constant in what would become an ever-shifting lineup.
Face to Face have been hammering out punk albums for 25 years now. Most bands struggle to put out 3-4 albums of relevant material, and despite a nearly decade long break (2002-2011), Face to Face‘s tenth album, Protection, is just as full of vitality as their earlier work. Protection is still very much a punk album. If you’ve ever heard the band before (or similar acts Bad Religion, Pennywise, or Social Distortion), you pretty much know what you’re in store for. Tracks like “Say What You Want” (which features an insanely catchy vocal hook), “See If I Care” (which is carried by the rhythm section of bassist Scott Shiflett, brother of the Foo Fighters Chris Shiflett, and drummer Danny Thompson), and “Keep Your Chin Up” are hard-charging singalongs perfect for fist pumps and circle pits.