Face to Face How to Ruin Everything

There was a time back in the late ’90s when this album's title was dangerously close to becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy for Trever Keith's melodic punk crew. They very nearly did ruin their career, along with their credibility. But having given up on trying to please major labels, as they did on the horrific Oasis-sounding Ignorance Is Bliss record, the band (now a power trio for the first time since their first album) is back rocking like it's 1994. "We had a great time writing and recording this one, it was a lot of fun," Keith says. "We wrote the record as a three-piece too, so we kept in mind the sort of things you want to think about when you're arranging music as a three-piece, like not trying to add too many guitar parts that we wouldn't be doing live." Simple four-chord punk, catchy hooks and an apparent renewed sense of purpose make this album, their sixth, their best since Big Choice. "We've continued to grow and change as a band, which I think is inevitable over time," says Keith. "We've become tighter as a band and more aware of each other as musicians and we play off each other and interact better." No kidding. The trio will be on tour supporting the disc throughout April and early May. (Vagrant)