Face To Face & Inquisition

Face To Face & Inquisition

It's probably some kind of object lesson that the now-defunct '90s punk bands Face To Face and Inquisition have both returned to relative obscurity, though the former was once a major-label hitmaker and the latter strictly underground. But that kind of sellout-versus-DIY grudge match isn't really fair to Face To Face, whose brief flirtation with the mainstream—which included an A&M recording contract and regional radio success with the noisy youth anthem "Disconnected"—doesn't tell the band's whole story. The compilation Shoot The Moon: Essential Collection fills in the gaps in and around the Face To Face rise and fall, starting with their early days at bratty pop-punkers holding true to their loud-and-tight Southern California roots, and ending with the more frayed, politicized hard rock that closed out the band's career. Shoot The Moon wraps up with a final live turn through "Disconnected," which sounds even angrier and perversely thrilling with 10 years of slogging behind it.

While Face To Face played the bigger rock clubs during its brief run of success, Virginia hardcore quartet Inquisition spent those same years dispensing agit-prop to disaffected teens in suburban basements, before scattering into more accessible pop-punk/emo outfits like Strike Anywhere, Ann Beretta, and River City High. Inquisition's two albums were recorded piecemeal over several years, and the second, Revolution: I Think It's Called Inspiration serves as a de facto compilation of the furious, take-no-prisoners punk that endeared the band to its disciples nationwide. The newly reissued Revolution shows a group of young musicians fumbling for a way to write compact, explosive songs that still experiment with melody and structural dynamics. Inquisition wasn't above reverting to rote hardcore if it best carried the anti-authoritarian message, but the band's peak came with songs like the fuck-the-world screamer "Fuse," with its halting, timelessly punk refrain, "I will live until the day I... die!"

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