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Gameface pic Gameface
Every Last Time

I was lucky enough to have a good friend of mine (who also happens to be a good friend of Todd Trout) send me an advance copy of the long awaited new album from Gameface. The Orange County band has already enjoyed a fair amount of indie level success, with their infectious blend of post-hardcore musicianship and pop sensibility. With this album, the Gameface sound has evolved in a manner similar to that of peers Quicksand and Far. The band has taken all of the energy and power of Three To Get Ready and Good, and merged them with a more mature emphasis on songwriting and structure. The result is staggering: finely crafted pop songs with catchy hooks merged with all that trademark O.C. energy. To add yet another dimension to their sound, vocalist Jeff Caudill now plays guitar as well, which thickens the sound quite a bit, and makes the melodies all the more driving. Caudill is also an extremely talented singer/lyricist that knows how to craft a good turn of phrase -- "If you see me cross the inside of your eyes tonight you don't have to let me know that you know it's not such a small world after all" (from "Shock Tester"). Trout provides some really interesting textured lead guitar work now that he's "unleashed" with the addition of a second guitarist (I love the interpolation of the "Pomp and Circumstance" run into "What I Learned In School"). I lamented at the break up of Texas Is The Reason, but Gameface has filled that void for me now...and then some. (MHo/Fall 1999)
(Revelation Records)

BUY ME:  Amazon

Ghosts and Vodka
Memento Mori

I want to like this a lot. I really, genuinely do. It's ex-members of Joan of Arc and Cap'n Jazz, two bands I dig, and overall, it's not bad. But...well, it just doesn't go anywhere. I like a lot of instrumental rock stuff, and this is very well-done, nice and melodic, but it just doesn't paint any pictures for me, and *that*, to me, is the point of music like this. When you don't use words, you're relying solely on the music to tell a story or create a scene of some kind, and that can often be a lot more difficult than just coming out and telling people what it means. It can be done, definitely -- Pell Mell did it very well on their last album, despite occasional bits of goofiness, as did Shark Quest. Unfortunately, Ghosts and Vodka just don't pull it off. It's pretty and nice, but doesn't quite do it for me -- sorry, guys... (JH/Fall 1999)
(Hefty Records -- 1658 N. Milwaukee, Suite 287, Chicago, IL. 60647; http://www.heftyrecords.com/)

-- The Gloria Record
"Grace, The Snow Is Here"/"And Is It Ever"

The Gloria Record pic Well, a lot's been made of the breakup of Austin emo heroes Mineral, but after finally getting a chance to hear both offshoots of the old band, Pop Unknown and now The Gloria Record, I have to say that, well, at least they've all gone on to other great things. The easy comparison here is Mineral, obviously, largely because of the vocals, but that's not very accurate -- the new band is a lot quieter and more thoughtful, I think, than Mineral ever was. "Grace, The Snow Is Here" is a cool, melancholy pop song, while "And Is It Ever" carefully builds from just voice and acoustic guitar to a beautiful, melodic crescendo, and both songs are really, really good. Can't wait for the full-length. (JH/Fall 1999)
(Crank! Records -- 1223 Wilshire Blvd. #823, Santa Monica, CA. 90403)


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AP -- Anne Panopio; BD -- Brandon Davis; BW -- Bob Wall; CE -- Charlie Ebersbaker; CH -- Colin Hart; CP -- Conor Prischmann; CPl -- Cindy Anne Polnick; CW -- Cory Worden; DD -- Doug Dillaman; HM -- Henry Mayer; HS -- Heather Santmire; JC -- Justin Crane; JF -- Judy Fan; JH -- Jeremy Hart; JP -- Rev. Joel Parker; JPo -- John Polanco; JT -- Jeffrey Thames; KM -- Ken Mahru; LP -- Lesa Pence; MA -- Marshall Armintor; MH -- Marc Hirsh; MHo -- Mel House; MP -- Marshall Preddy; NK -- Nikki Kelly; NL -- Nikki Lively; RZ -- Robb Zipp; TC -- Ted Conway; TD -- Tanuj Deora.

All contents © 2002 Space City Rock, unless otherwise credited.