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Face First - Face First (EP)
FACE*FIRST, a four-piece punk rock band from New York bring you their trilling 6 track self-titled EP that's ready to blow the roof off your home. When I first heard this band, I was truly amazed and knew they had potential in them. This independent band deserves a lot of airplay and you'll know why after listening to this album. FACE*FIRST consists of Lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Allen, lead guitarist and backup vocalist Joe Anastasi, bass guitarist and backup vocalist Brian Cohen and last but not least drummer and backup vocalist Steve Montemarano.

The EP kicks off with a high energetic track entitled "Crazy". The track kicks off with an killer intro and good guitar riffs. The best part of the song has to be the chorus, very catchy to the ears and worth a listen over and over. This has to be my personal favorite of the entire EP to say the least. I love these types of songs especially this one as the girl is driving the guy insane, and heck, girls are headaches sometimes, and they delivered the message in this song. The track lasts all of 3:09, too bad it doesn't last longer, I wouldn't mind. If the band really wants to, I would love for this song to be their single once they get picked up, and I have a feeling it won't be long. The backing vocals on this song, and the entire album are just amazing, I can't wait for another album, maybe a full length, who knows... Another track worth mentioning would be "Saturday Night", a hard edge driven track and another catchy chorus to add at that. The riffs in this track are perfect for this type of song. Then we have "You Make Me Sick", and if you listen to it, you'll notice a continuing pattern from "Crazy", with the same girl in this story, the only difference?, a new song.

In all, FACE*FIRST know how to please their fans by producing music that a lot of the young listeners can enjoy. Lately, all these independent bands have been surprising me with their releases and damn, can't say anything bad about this band, they have it going on!
Rating: 4/5

Copyright 2004 - 2005 TheMusicApprisal.com

- TheMusicApprisal.com

Today’s rock radio needs a serious kick in the ass, but have no fear – Face*First has arrived. This Long Island based punk and rock band have recently completed their first self-titled EP, and it’s chock-full of infectious radio-ready tunes. Each single is sung with heartfelt emotion and raw angst by Chris Allen, has a generous sprinkling
of driving melodic guitar riffs by Joe Anastasi, a dash of groovy and sometimes reggae-eque bass beats by Brian Cohen, and pounding intricate drums by Steve Montemarano.

This high-energy quartet all contribute to the strong harmonies on these rock solid singles, which describe a theme most can relate to – a tumultuous relationship gone wrong. Songs like “Crazy,” “You Make Me Sick,” and “Crash Landing” are catchy, driven and easy to sing along and dance to. Don’t be surprised if you get carried away, start moshing by yourself in your living room and then curse every defunct relationship you’ve ever had after listening – but you’ll also be pumped and uplifted! Listen to the song “Not Going Back” after these tunes and you’ll have a satisfying ending to this turbulent loved-and-lost saga.

“Tonight,” has a catchy “na-na-na” group chorus with poignant lines such as, “I don’t wanna live, just so I could die.” “Saturday Night,” a fun-filled plea for one last night to “make it right,” has a straight up rock-out melody reminiscent of bands like Green Day and The Ramones.

Each Face*First song on the new EP manages to preserve their signature sound while being uniquely different. These guys possess all the necessary elements for rock stardom: great songs, cool good looks, and a killer high-energy live show, (yes, I’ve seen them live) so keep your eyes open for Face*First to take the music scene by storm real soon.

- Marissa Candela is a freelance entertainment, travel, and food & wine writer for TheCelebrityCafe.co

The Groove Heroes
A great energetic pop band driven by strong male vocals that jump in your face with great lyrics. Very clean and original approach... The band is VERY strong, backing this vocalist with powerful supportive lines and harmonies. This is something that most bands don't seem to get. They're not simply turning up the volume to get this power. They're combining forces to create the almighty groove. That's what powers these super heroes... They're the Groove Heroes. Great Infectious Work.
- ajak, Port Orchard, Washington

Energetic Performance
Good sounds and full power energy
This band give us another pos-Green day generation, Kind of "Young forever" attitude, I like it!
-Avi_Studio, Tel Aviv, Israel

Energy in your face...
Driving song with a fun to listen to feel. Good production and engineering. The mix is as close to perfect as you can get. Catchy chorus. Bridge with its sudo-reggae feel is compelling; this is a radio song all the way.
-EliThomas, Tonasket, Washington

5 friggin stars!
Cool…this song is defiantly better then most of the stuff I’ve reviewed. I really like the chorus. Screw 4 stars I’m giving you 5. A job very well done.
-HBTmusic, Layton, Utah

Upbeat offbeats introduce upfront rock love song
Cool intro, cool everything! The sound is near top notch! Solid beats, booming positive bass line with deceiving choppy guitar riffs that bounce off each other into insanity. Cool stereo application of guitars on mix! Together they sound like one! Nice vocal ideas from start to finish! If you like Cracker check these guys out!
- Cultureversy, Amarillo, Texas

Radio Ready
I like the way this song doesn't waste any time getting started. The rhythm section is really tight. The guitars are right on the money … the singer delivers the lyrics with great conviction. The bridge was very hip. It reminded me of old Joe Jackson. Overall, this is a pop-radio friendly rock song.
- papaearwig, Los Angeles, California
- Garageband.com

Unedited FACE*FIRST interview with iCON Magazine on April 18, 2005

How did the group form?

We all grew up in Queens, New York. Each one of us has been in a bunch of different bands, at times, the same band. Joe and I (Chris) were going through some tough times. We would get together with two guitars at his place and write. It was like therapy only cheaper. It grew form there. We became so passionate about the music we wanted to share it with anyone who would listen. We decided to put a band together. Brian was already close to the project. He had been helping out on bass. The chemistry was undeniable so he was the obvious choice. One night we were in a bar watching this band we knew. They called us on stage to play a Green Day cover. The drummer Steve loved the vibe. One thing lead to another and he became the forth and final member of FACE*FIRST.

Who are some of your musical influences?

It’s tough to narrow it down. We all listen to a lot of different music. I would say our Rock influences are the bands that know how to write a great Rock hook. Everyone from Elvis (he didn’t do a lot of writing, but damn he was cool), Kiss, the Beatles, Marvelous 3, Billy Joel, Matchbox 20, Green Day, Bon Jovi, Cheap Trick, Motley Crue, Joan Jett- you name it. There are too many to list. If you’re a musician it’s impossible to listen to another artist and not walk away with something.

Have you worked with any well-known artists/producers?

The EP was recorded at Sabella Studios. Jim Sabella produced the EP and it was engineered by Lorenzo Famiglietti and Mastered by Mark Wilder at Sony Music. Sabella Recording Studios received independent and major label recognition with such platinum records as Public Enemy’s “Nation Of Millions” in 1984 and Marcy Playground’s debut release in 1997(Marcy Playground recently finished recording their second album at Sabella). Jim has also worked with Nine Days.

Who does your sound resemble?

This is the hardest question. As the band, we are too close to it. Depending on a person’s point of reference, we get all different answers when we ask people. They say you can hear the influence of bands like Green Day, Marvelous 3, Cheap Trick, the Ataris and so on. We don’t think we sound like these bands however they are big influences. We just write and do our thing.

What made you decide to do this as a hobby or profession?

One of the many things we all share is the passion for music. Doing what we do is not a decision, it’s a must. It’s something that’s either inside of you or it’s not. For years we’ve all been in bands. Lugging equipment at all hours of the night. Dealing with club owners and promoters etc. You have to love the music game to survive it. Being a working original band is 95% disappointment and 5% gratification. But that’s what separates the real deal from the wanna-be’s. We couldn’t stop if we tried.

What is your inspiration in doing so?

The 5% gratification we mentioned earlier. There’s nothing better then having a stranger come up to you and say “ya know that song you guys did? Well, I really get what you’re saying.” It’s about expressing ourselves and seeing if anyone out there is feeling the same way. It’s about connecting. It’s about the magic of working on a new song or when the four of us are on stage. It’s a feeling like no other… it’s a drug. We all love music and we know what it’s like to be moved by an artist. The possibility that we can touch someone in the same way is the most inspiring feeling. Girls and booze are pretty inspiring as well.

What are your goals in the music business?

We want to be Rock Stars. Fame, Fortune and lots of women, hahaha. We can’t lie and say we wouldn’t love to be the next big thing and make a ton of money and everything that goes with that life. But if that were all we were after, we would have quit long ago. Our goal is to become the best possible band we can be. It would be great to make a comfortable living from this so we can just continue to create music together.

What are the inspirations behind your lyrics?

Our lives. We take what we experience through the five senses and we write about it. This has probably been said a few millions times but, for some reason it’s so much easier to write when life is not going your way.

What makes you as an artist/band outstanding and unique from the others?

We don’t spend a lot of time comparing ourselves with other bands. We concentrate on writing honest Rock songs with good hooks and structure. Good songs are something we notice lacking in a lot of bands we play with. There is a noticeable absence of structure and hook. To us, it’s a band effort as opposed to how fast or how complicated one of us can play. We use the old motto “play for the song.”
Another important part of this band is our personal and profession relationship with each other. Behind closed doors, there are no egos (we save the ego for the stage). It doesn’t matter where a great idea comes from or who plays it. It’s all about what sounds good. In the end, the most important thing is the music. The last point we can make is how we feel bands have forgotten what it is to entertain a crowd. We feel lucky that people come to see us and we work our asses off to make sure they leave satisfied.

Do you think as an artist/band that you will have a career of longevity in the music business?

We hope to. Let’s put it this way, we will do our part to put out what we think is good music. What the industry does with it and what people think of it is out of our hands. I’m sure we’ll keep doing this whether or not the masses care about FACE*FIRST.

- iCON Magazine

Review from Ryan Hoffer, Shut Eye Records A&R- April 12, 2005

The best adjective to describe your music is, simply put, “fun”. These are definitely the type of head bobbing, happy-go-lucky tunes that would cause a stir on the college radio airwaves, in turn, earn you some well-deserved attention.

FACE*FIRST revive the lush gusto of the alternative spirit. Clear arrangements and delightful irreverence combine to create an excellent listening experience while avoiding the stamp of modern day clichés (like that “emo” bullshit). While every song is worthy of mention, I am partial to “You Make Me Sick”. This is exactly the type of fun, buoyant melody that is sure to leave an impression on first-time listeners. We here at Shut Eye would love to have an opportunity to feature FACE*FIRST on the 11th edition of our Buzzlighter series….
- Shut Eye Records

New York, NY
Northeast In-Tune, July 2005
By: Patrick Rodgers

Face First is a New York based rock/pop/punk group that you may not have heard of yet, but that won’t last for long. The quartet is determined to make it big, and has a sound that could get them there. Catchy guitar riffs, fast bass lines and hard drumming build solid foundations for their well-constructed songs.

The band’s lineup, which features Chris Allen on guitar and lead vocals, Joe Anastasi on
lead guitar and background vocals, Brian Cohen on bass, and Steve Montemarano on drums delivers nothing but catchy post-hair metal anthems that are part Jimmy Eat World mixed with a dose of Warrant. On songs like “Crazy,” the first song off the band’s newly-released self-titled EP, the lyrics have a particular hair metal charm that has laid dormant since the early 90’s – “We go through hell just to get to heaven/ Wish me luck to make it back alive.” While the band members all hail from Queens originally, there song writing could have easily come from New Jersey legend Bon Jovi.

The band seems to have a lot of problems with the fairer sex – they’re not really sad about the fights and break ups, more likely is that they called some friends and got wasted to deal with whatever relationship problems were getting them down - while this isn’t a method of problem-solving that healthcare professionals would recommend, it has always been a staple of the rock n roll lifestyle.

The a-good-night-of-partying-will-solve-everything philosophy shines through on their song “Saturday Night,” which contains the lyrics, “Give me one more day to make it right, one more chance to prove myself tonight. I know it’s late and I don’t want to fight, just give me one more Saturday night.” Sometimes, a good night out will patch up even the rockiest of relationships.

While the band labels themselves Rock/Punk, Face First’s aspirations to play Madison Square Garden along with their Blink 182-esque girl problem anthems root them pretty squarely in the oxymoronic world of Pop-Punk. Their tunes are infectious and their sound is tight – they could be the next big thing. Backing their rise to glory and helping them fill out their sound is the producer and studio owner Jim Sabella who made a name for himself producing Public Enemy’s 1984 hit album “It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back” and Marcy Playground’s 1997 hit debut album. Sabella describes Face
First as a “band that knows the importance of work. Always prepared to take direction
and armed with the know how to take it to the next level.”

If you want to beat the rush, Face First’s new EP is available now through their website www.facefirstnyc.com and at
www.CDbaby.com. Try and catch them playing in the greater New York area.
- Northeast In-Tune


Self-Titled EP, "FACE*FIRST"


Feeling a bit camera shy


Rock-n-Roll with an attitude only New York City can inspire. Meet FACE*FIRST- a little trashy Rock with a healthy dose of Punk irreverence. This quartet is determined to make it big, and has a sound that could get them there. Drawing influence from many of the great Rock and Punk writers of the last 30 years, their melodic sound is built on catchy guitar riffs, fast bass lines and hard drumming while avoiding the stamp of modern day clichés.

The FACE*FIRST lineup, which features childhood friends Chris Allen on guitar and lead vocals, Joe Anastasi on lead guitar and vocals, Brian Cohen on bass, and Steve Montemarano on drums, is everything a Rock band should be: in-your-face, passionate, and most of all, talented. With the release of their self-titled EP, FACE*FIRST has been spreading their New York attitude to the delight of club-goes throughout the tri-state area and beyond. Their live performance is all about connecting with the audience, combining great live music with an infectious stage persona. Audiences are helplessly drawn in by the foursome's undying energy and genuine love of playing music.

Radio stations have taken notice, with several tracks from the EP being played on M4 radio, New York's Q104.3, Boston University's WTBU, Alaska's 103.1 and others. The print and internet media have jumped on the bandwagon with interviews and rave reviews in Icon Magazine, LA's All Access Magazine, Inside Connection, Northeast In-Tune and more.

FACE*FIRST is currently promoting their EP and continues to write and develop new music.

For more FACE*FIRST info check out: