Gameface

Now Is What Matters Now

Written by: PP on 14/04/2014 23:34:04

Here's one band nobody expected to resurface in 2014. A cult band in the 90s, walking the golden middle road between emo and punk rock since forming in 1990, Gameface's fifth and final studio "Four To Go" was released in 2003 shortly before they called it a day as a band. They recently surprised everyone by reuniting and announcing a sixth album was in the works, which they've titled "Now Is What Matters Now", a foreboding yet bold title to underline what's in the past is in the past, and it's time for a new era in the band.

If their 90s records were primarily characterized by the sublime blend between emo and punk rock (think Jimmy Eat World, Grade, Small Brown Bike, Piebald, and that sort of bands), their new album is distinctly different. Relying primarily on melodicore style punk rock this time around (think Lagwagon and No Use For A Name), the band go for a well-produced, cleaner sound that has ironed out some of the edge from their earlier work. The emo vibes are all but gone - at least in comparison to "Four To Go" - leading into a more mature sound. It's a bit of a change if you're used to the gruffer sound and the melodic ring of their previous work, but once the record grows on you there are a number of spectacular tracks on this one. "Swing State" and "Regular Size" are early highlights with their mid tempo punk rock approach and casual choruses, and later on "Save Your Words" and "Picture Day" should go down very, very well with fans letting the record grow on them. Because that's what it requires. The songs are smoother and less reliant on dynamic vocals, which means the detail is more subtle and demands attention from its listener. Once the songs open up, however, there's plenty of solid material here suggesting that even 11 years later, Gameface still have what it takes to compete in the punk/revivalist emo scene.

It's been too long since I've last listened to Gameface records from the 90s to remember exactly how I'd place "Now Is What Matters Now" in their back catalogue, but maybe that's also the point with their title: it's a new chapter, and the band have made adjustments to their sound to make sure they sound relevant even a decade or more later. If you're into mid tempo punk rock with strong 90s vibes, this is a must listen.

Download: Save Your Words, Picture Day, Swing State, Regular Size
For the fans of: No Use For A Name, Lagwagon, The Movielife, Saves The Day, Craig's Brother
Listen: Facebook

Release date 25.03.2014
Equal Vision Records

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