Face to Face have been hammering out punk albums for 25 years now. Most bands struggle to put out 3-4 albums of relevant material, and despite a nearly decade long break (2002-2011), Face to Face‘s tenth album, Protection, is just as full of vitality as their earlier work. Protection is still very much a punk album. If you’ve ever heard the band before (or similar acts Bad Religion, Pennywise, or Social Distortion), you pretty much know what you’re in store for. Tracks like “Say What You Want” (which features an insanely catchy vocal hook), “See If I Care” (which is carried by the rhythm section of bassist Scott Shiflett, brother of the Foo Fighters Chris Shiflett, and drummer Danny Thompson), and “Keep Your Chin Up” are hard-charging singalongs perfect for fist pumps and circle pits.
Original Album Classics contains five albums by Cypress Hill: Cypress Hill (1991), Black Sunday (1993), Cypress Hill III: Temples of Boom (1995), Cypress Hill IV (1998), and Stoned Raiders (2001). That's the group's first four albums, plus its sixth – 2000's Skull & Bones was presumably left out because it's a two-disc album. For most casual fans, 2005's Greatest Hits from the Bong will be adequate, but this is a rather affordable way to obtain a major chunk of the group's catalog. The discs are presented as they were originally released, within standard jewel cases that slide inside a basic cardboard sleeve.
This release represents something of a milestone: a performance of major, public Korean compositions by mostly Korean musicians, recorded for a large Western label and presumably marketed at least as much to Westerners as to Koreans. Composer Unsuk Chin was a student of György Ligeti, but her style resembles his only in her general orientation toward layered textures and rhythmic emphasis. She writes music in which the relationships between blocks of sound shift over the course of a composition, and although her harmonic world is atonal, her writing is not difficult to follow. The concerto form allows an ideal introduction to what she does, and the three works here are attractive examples (she has written several others). Start with the concluding Su, for sheng & orchestra, from 2009.
"Brilliantly capturing the essence of this true legend at this live gig recorded almost twenty years ago at the end of a 30 date european tour, they were fired up and ready for it."
This is an essential package! Whoever put this together obviously knew what they were doing, and all is placed in chronological order. Discs 1-3 are a terrific compilation of material from the MGM years, consisting of commercial recordings of soundtrack materal. If no recording was commercially released, the original soundtrack is used-great for such numbers as "Hoe Down" with Mickey Rooney! But the last disc makes this package essential-here is a pristine soundboard recording of Judy's final performance at the Palace Theater, MYC-2/24/52! She was concluding a 19-week engagement, and the atmosphere is electric. Fantastic stuff!