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Gameface - Always on (Revelation)

Now this is a very pleasant surprise. I first heard of Orange County's Gameface a couple of years ago when I bought a forgettable album by them which was really, really terrible. Any mention of them and I made a face like you do when you drink sour milk. So when I was handed this I didn't exactly jump in the air for joy. But jeez, talk about a change in sound! They dumped their Green Day wannabes pop punk racket for a more slower, melodic, emotional sound, and bugger me ragged if it's not one of the most beautiful albums it's been my pleasure to hear.

Lead vocalist/guitarist Jeff Caudill is a Rock Legend in the making, his heartfelt lyrics and haunting vocals not heard since the passing of Mr Cobain. Check out the standout track 'Balance', with it's pitiful defiant "Don't ask me how I am/I do it all the time/I only lost my balance". Credit is also due to the other band members, Paul Martin on bass, Todd D Trout on guitar and drums by Steve Sanderson who have made a refreshing album full of magical songs that will bounce around in your head for many hours after you've played it ("Anyone can write a song"), until you rush home and play the CD again. My one gripe is that the production, by one Jim Monroe could have been fuller, but, that said, it's a minor glitch on what is an album full of musical gems.

Ken McBlek

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