Gameface has always been one of those bands that made me wonder why they weren’t any bigger. They consistently released albums throughout the nineties that ranked from awesome to kickass and had an amazing songwriter and singer in the form of Jeff Caudill. Yet somehow this California-based band that mixed punk, hardcore, rock and pop in the best of ways, has never been picked up by the mainstream while other bands around them got to be the next big thing.
Hopefully Caudill & co will finally get the recognition they deserve with the release of “Now Is What Matters Now”, the band’s first new album since 2003. If they don’t, it won’t be because the songs “Now Is What Matters Now” aren’t any good. They are. Opener “Come On Down” builds up slowly before erupting into sheer pop-punk goodness. “Swing State” and “Regular Size” both come with crunchy guitars and big hooks and serve as the perfect prelude for “Now”, one of the album’s highlights. The band rocks the fuck out on “Lifetime Achievement Award”, a song that shows all their younger counterparts just how it’s done. “Picture Day” on the other hand bathes in nostalgia, something that suits them equally fine.
Helping out on “Now Is What Matters Now” are Kay Hanley (Letters To Cleo), Frank Daly (Big Drill Car), Jon Bunch (Sense Field) and Arty Shepherd (Errortype:11). Not that these guys need guest vocals to make this a better album, it’s just a nice touch.