Gameface - Now Is What Matters Now
Release Date: March 18, 2014
Record Label: Equal Vision
Sometimes reunions don’t feel right. Maybe it just seems like they’re in it to cash in on nostalgia. Maybe they just don’t have the same conviction twenty years later. For whatever reason, their triumphant returns only seem to tarnish their reputations.
But not Gameface. Nope, they’ve returned after ten years to put out the best record of their careers.
Gameface aren’t the same angsty kids they were fifteen, twenty years ago though, and they know it. Except for on “Lifetime Achievement Award” and, to a lesser extent, “Always On” (get it?), the band never tries to recreate their earlier punk sound; interestingly enough, the former proves to be the most forgettable track on the album. “Lifetime Achievement Award” is just too rough and raucous for the otherwise calm and catchy record, and its spoken word outro feels even more out-of-place. It doesn’t fit in at all, and demonstrates nothing about what makes the rest of Now Is What Matters Now great.
Something that makes it great is its abundance of hooks. The first three tracks are all equally infectious, “Swing State” and “Regular Size” in particular straight off a 90s alternative radio station. In fact, the latter is a perfect conglomerate of the band’s successes on Now, a massive rock song and the one to check out if you’re doubtful about the album. Pseudo-title track “Now” slows things down a bit, and the repetition of the album’s title can get a bit much at the end. It’s a well-meaning ballad, but it screws up the album’s pacing a little, leading into “Picture Day,” the latest single and a sure highlight for vocalist Jeff Caudill.
The album ends pretty strongly too, with “Frames” setting up the bass intro to “My Troubled Half” perfectly. The closer begins slowly, with only a bas and muffles vocals until it booms into a loud chorus. The bridge is what elevates the song though, as Caudill waxes nostalgic over softly buzzing guitars. His plea to “forget the bad times, remember the good guys” seems an apt way to end the band’s reunion record.
Gameface’s reunion seems purposeful with this record. Sure, there’re a few lackluster songs (“Lifetime Achievement Award,” “Now,” “Always On” – get it?), but the band more than makes up for them with the good ones (“Regular Size,” “Swing State,” “Picture Day”). Now Is What Matters Now is a record that matters now, it’s not an attempt to stay relevant or make money; it’s an attempt to reignite passion. And that’s just what it does.
I thought this was just awful. I've got a nauseous feeling from this record. Pop punk meets Nickelback The video for Picture Day made me laugh and i don't think it was supposed to. Don't want to be a Negative Nancy but it's a massive no from me.