Gameface – Four to Go

Four to Go

Have you ever listened to an album for the first time and find that every track sounds familiar? Have you ever heard a band whose lack of originality astounds you and you find yourself guessing which bands the musicians ripped off or “modeled” themselves after? Well, if these are things you’ve never experienced, pick up a copy of Gameface’s fifth full-length and you’ll understand what I mean.
Southern California’s Gameface have been putting out albums since 1991. Their music is a mixture of several genres, namely punk, rock, emo, and a whole lotta’ pop. Although this sounds like a complex and intricate mix, it’s actually not – well, not the way Gameface does it it’s not. Their bio states that Gameface aims to “make music simpler,” and that’s exactly what the band has done; Four to Go is a simple, obvious, and unoriginal album. Gameface has done nothing to set the band apart from any other band in the post-hardcore music scene. Instead of creating their own distinct style on Four to Go, the members of Gameface have resorted to a cookie-cutter genre of emo-pop. For a band that has been together for over a decade, one would expect much more.
Four to Go offers up 12 tracks that are indistinguishable from one another. At times Gameface sounds like a Matchbox 20 cover band, with singer Jeff Caudill’s voice highly reminiscent of Rob Thomas’ alt-rock holler. At other times, Gameface seems to be attempting to duplicate the post-hardcore genius of Rival Schools (former Quicksand members). However, unlike Rival Schools or even Matchbox 20 (who I am not a fan of) for that matter, Gameface does not have a unique sound. Some bands’ songs are recognizable right away, even without knowing for sure that it’s them. Gameface, however, has yet to achieve this. Even after listening to Four to Go quite a few times, none of the songs will stick in your head; rather, you will easily and quickly forget them.
Gameface is not a bad band, and there is no denying the members’ talent. Yet, a new style and approach is certainly necessary if Gameface wants to make a mark in today’s music scene. Gameface has already been touring for countless years and has built up a large fan base. Assuming that they are striving for more, these musicians need a change, otherwise they will not be distinguishable enough from other bands to garner new fans and an even larger following. Four to Go is simply too obvious and predictable of an album. Remember, Gameface, originality is key!