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Face To Face | Dropkick Murphys | vs | split | review | punk | Lollipop

Dropkick Murphys/ Face To Face

Dropkick Murphys vs Face To Face Split EP (Vagrant)
by Grady Gadbow

There's something to be said for what Face To Face used to do, but this split is crappy. In my experience, punk rock bands cover songs to add that little umph to the tone and the tempo that those time-honored melodies of classic rock so pathetically begged for on later reflection. Not so on Face To Face's clean and staunchly cruise-controlled rendition of Stiff Little Fingers' "Wasted Life." Like an edited for television version of A Clockwork Orange, the best bits are lost to some sort of Orwellian digital compression. Face to Face has written songs in the past demonstrating excellent guitarsmanship and catharticly sincere lyrics, but not this year.

I gotta hand it to the flipsided Dropkick Murphys for their all-balls cover of "Fortunate Son" by CCR, hammering home the Berkeley-based bayou band's working class anthem, note for note. It conjures up all the bittersweet fireworks of driving to the river in a topless Bronco on the Forth of July with your best girl in a bikini smoking a joint by your side. The 'Murphys always seem a little too self-serious on their originals for my liking, but they can sure hit a good cover. The closing track is a raucous '77-style cover of "21 Guitar Salute," a light-hearted "Hail Hail Rock and Roll" type of thing. The 'Murphys bang it out with a satisfying crunch.
(2118 Wilshire Blvd. #361 Santa Monica, CA 90403)  

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