The Face
Gig Seeker Pro

The Face

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States
Band Rock Experimental




"The Face - The Face EP"

EP review by

For their debut offering, trans-American (they contain members from the US, Mexico and Peru) band The Face have decided to plot an experimental rock course, and one that's entirely instrumental. They mix things up a bit too which is good to hear and it prevents them getting too bogged down in post-rock soundscapes or truncated prog noodlings. In 'Confetti Memories' they have a song that wouldn't sound too out of place on a Stereolab album. It's probably the closest they come to a track that could be universally appreciated, as like many bands who explore similar ground (they mention The Mars Volta, Explosions In The Sky and Flying Lotus, we can't really argue) much of what's here will have a more cult appeal.

There is a proggy feel to 'Time and Space' but this too is less indulgent that you may expect; if there's such a thing as space-funk then it probably sounds a bit like this. They begin to venture into more ambient areas from this point; 'Anesthesia' could almost be a cut from The Orb's debut album if the guitar-heavy ending was removed, the crunching 'Through Silhouettes' is fairly close to conventional post-rock and is the least distinctive track on the EP, but it's good enough to go down well with fans of the genre, particularly its heavier side, and 'Allegoric Red' treads a similar path before breaking into more trippy space-funk for the mid-section. 'Dr Caligari' contains some impressive fretboard work, however that's not a particularly good thing and marks the point where the band do overstep the mark slightly. 'The Face' won't be for everyone, but when they let their own ideas take charge instead of following other bands they make a pretty decent noise. - The Sound of Confusion

"The Face’s debut EP free to download"

With the year quickly closing in, we’re glad the excellent debut EP from Los Angeles based experimental rockers The Face made its way to us. The self-titled EP came out in May via Sweet Tiger Records, and the effort is free to grab on their bandcamp.

Jose Castillo, Jeff Laos, Manny Madrigal and Tyler Morrisette, who make up The Face, draw influences from outfits like The Mars Volta, Flying Lotus, Os Mutantes, Portishead, The Octopus Project and other bands and art forms. With the four members hailing from different places – Peru, Mexico and the US -, The Face blend their tastes with their ethnic influences and cultural background.

‘Anesthesia’ is one of the incredible cuts from The Face EP and it was picked for a film called ‘What Maisie Knew’, featuring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan and premiered in the Toronto International Film Festival last September.
Listen to ‘Anesthesia’ below and don’t let the other five opulent tracks from the EP slip away. - CAST THE DICE

"TPR Featured Band-to-Watch: The Face"

The Face is a neo-psych, experimental rock quartet based out of Los Angeles who released their eponymous debut EP in May, earlier this year. The extended play also includes the song “Anesthesia” which has been selected as part of the score for the the independent film What Maisie Knew starring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan. Totaling six tracks, this debut album effectively features the fusion of rock styles that The Face have adopted as their sound, inspired by the huge array of influences ranging from the chilled out trip-hop stylings of Portishead to the prog-psychedelia of The Mars Volta, and even brushing with the post-rock elements of Tortoise.
The EP’s opener, “Confetti Memories,” starts off with a pulsating synth that sounds like an incoming call from an approaching spacecraft. The lost feeling continues with the foreboding bass that lies underneath some sparse reverberating guitar that transitions into an upbeat lounge groove, with delicate keyboards floating above everything. As the drums stop, the bass a see-sawing pulse as the guitar keeps a constant melody. The change creates an ever increasing teetering sensation of tension and release. As the drums kick back in, the feel is no longer just a groovy lounge piece; it now has more fervor as the playing has evolved into something more intensified, yet maintaining a bit of their playful side with the return of the subtle keyboard splashes. It all comes down into a quiet, intense passage with the guitar ringing out. It may only be a two note passage until the abrupt dischord at the end of the sequence but it, again, brings forward a sharp tension that the bass reassures you against, hanging the groove together into the home stretch.
The descending riff that opens “Time and Space” creates a familiar, unnerving sound, interestingly complimented with a collage of earworm sound effects in the undercurrent that builds into what feels like a climax, but but instead abruptly steps into a psychedelic groove conjured up by some very spacey synths that rise and fall alongside some generous use of guitar wah that chills the mind as more synth and guitar layers space out the arrangement. The Face are very good at changing up the feel of their playing with little notice; they will likely lull you down into a mellowed-out state, and just as soon, kick in with a rush of hastened drums and distorted guitars with an uptempo, jazz-tinged chord sequence. Though, this quickly degenerates into a psyched-out blitz of sound, with the simple flourish of a sampled voiceover– an clever contrast to The Face‘s wholly instrumental sound– which seems to evoke a wonderment about “the arts being in time and space.” The mood then settles down into a more driving rhythm as the track become quite reflective both in the aftermath of the spoken passage and the more uplifting guitar pattern that comes to an abrupt halt.
Anesthesia’s post-dubstep, nighttime feeling is reminiscent of Mount Kimbie crossed ever so slightly with The XX as its minimalistic use of sequencing and samples have a distinct leaning towards the subdued nocturne. It saunters through with the lulling use of cymbals as the bass anchors you from floating away in this dreamesque world. It picks up and drops tempo in keeping with the running gag of letting you have a brief moment of calm and tranquility only for it to be hijacked at any second. This is no more prevalent than when it is disrupted by a flurry of dischords that grate in a an interestingly tolerable jam of avante-jazz before it gently cradles you into its arms, into ambiance once more.
A quick note that you can definitely hear a link to Dub Trio as there are many textures and composing techniques shared between the two. The way in which they both push and pull you around whilst you listen is a common thread that they share and have become highly proficient at.
“Through Silhouettes” continues with the nurturing sound of gentle, arpeggiated runs. By now we’ve come to anticipate the frantic rush, sensing its oncome lurking, and we aren’t disappointed as it returns with sure abundance. Powerful stop-start patterns inject life into the track as it grabs your attention by the scruff of the neck due to the sharply contrasting, emboldened sound that is accompanied by a pull-off melody that jolts the mood into a jaunted angle. The Face are skilled in their ability to shift trajectory with no giveaway warnings, as swiftly execute another, with an understated and simplistic melody that rattles softly along as the drums power through, maintaining the intensity from the build-up.
“Dr. Caligari” takes reference from the German horror film The Cabinet of Dr Caligari that featured many wild and disjointed musical movements and sets which you could say is parallel to the wild and disjointed arrangements that The Face lay out on this EP. True to their honed style, ”Dr. Caligari” kicks off with a gentle mood that’s soon built upon with various space-age sounds which soo -


Still working on that hot first release.



The Face is a psychedelically-influenced, experimental instrumental rock band from Los Angeles, CA. Earlier this year they put out their debut six-track EP on Sweet Tiger Records. The Face's sound is a fusion of their influences ranging from post-rock soundscapes to math rock grooves, and exhibits a mastery in the ability to shift gears in the feel and mood of their arrangements. The third track, "Anesthesia" was even appropriately included as part of the score for 2012's What Maisie Knew!

The Face was originally formed by Jose Castillo (guitar/SFX) and Tyler Morrisette (bass) who met in recording school and shared the same passion for music and creative forms of expression. They started jamming with different bands and polishing their craft, both as solo producers and collaborators, they had been looking for temporary drummer for a while until they met Manny Madrigal who joined them in 2011 and they officially formed The Face. They wrote songs as a trio for a while and had some keyboard/SFX/beat makers help them out with the electronic aspect of the band until they met Jeff Laos who officially entered the band later on. They played some shows in the L.A area between 2011 and early 2012 and then decided to record an EP with 6 songs to give away for free. The Face has gotten radio airplay in college and non commercial radio stations around the United States and Canada including the Los Angeles stations KXLU and KCRW.

In August 2012 their song Anesthesia was licensed for an independent movie called What Maisie Knew, featuring Julianne Moore and Steve Coogan and premiered in the Toronto International Film Festival 2012.

Now the band is playing as a trio (for now) with Laird Fryer on drums and Curtis Wright on bass and with Jose Castillo triggering the SFX as well as playing the guitar.

The Face's main influences are The Mars Volta, Flying Lotus, Os Mutantes, Portishead, Mount Kimbie, The Octopus Project, Dub Trio, Caribou and of course other forms of arts such as films like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Holy Mountain and Enter the Void.

[de feis] n. Contorted facial expression as a result of a dopamine release, which creates the feeling of pleasure perceivable through one or more of the human senses.