They Had Faces Then
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They Had Faces Then

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States

New Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
Band Rock Avant-garde


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Review: They Had Faces Then - 1977"

For every screechtastic scene band out there, there’s another one quite happy to find their voice in a kind of beautiful simplicity. They still sound heavy, crafted, moody and imprecise, but it succeeds somehow in fashioning something a little more thought-provoking and memorable. They Had Faces Then appear to be this kind of a band.

Throughout their gorgeous, studied EP 1977, the band work hard to create a meditative, serene atmosphere, cutting swarths of grey banality next to the inventiveness and gentle beauty of their music. The singing is soft, assured, broken every now and then by little sparks of guitar that introduce some brief and subdued fireworks into the mire. Collectively, it echoes REM’s rhythmic smoothness, while the mellifluous guitar work has elements of early, little known My Chemical Romance (Early Sunsets over Monroeville springing most clearly to mind).

The record spends much of its initial four songs moping quite decoratively, content to assuage the restrained vocals with atmosphere and imagery, with little pomp and circumstance. It’s well-put together and certainly makes for a delightful listen. It takes a sharp turn with the introduction of “Shepherds,” something far more bold and brash than what has gone before. Ken de Poto’s voice keeps everything quite tranquil though the band kicks into a higher gear, unveiling more ardor and immediacy to offset the whimsical musings that went before. It creates a fine contrast and tinges the slightly formulaic sound of the record, which was heretofore in danger of dwelling too long on one perfectly evoked mood.

“Song 45,” the concluding song on the EP, is similar. Maintaining the moist refrains of the foregoing, it adds some more electricity and resonance with some striking guitar notes, upping the mood and meandering round the stillness and yearning of the verse. It’s all quite lovely and poetic – it sounds luminous – though there appears to be little in the way of real substance. They Had Faces Then certainly mean to sound a certain way and do so quite faultlessly, though taking a few liberties here and there might have rewarded them more.

In summary, this is a finely realized odyssey, plaintive and lush with lots of gorgeous instrumentation and a pristine atmosphere. It reminds me slightly of the exemplary La Dispute, except with mood and melody taking precedence over brawn and prose. That said, it doesn’t quite pack the same sucker punch as the latter, and it may not linger long in the mind after you’ve spun it. But you’ll definitely play it again, and revel in it again, and for this it must be celebrated.

Rating: 7/10
Review Written By: Grace Duffy - Under The Gun Review

"They Had Faces Then - 1977 EP - Review"

They Had Faces Then of New Jersey recently self released their EP entitled 1977. Despite the name for some reason making me think of a tech death metal band name, THFT are an indie/rock outfit that puts a very smooth relaxing groove. The bands guitar grooves sync very well with the vocals of Ken De Poto.

My two favorite tracks off of 1977 are “Pretty Ugly People” and “Song 45.” If there was one song to truly take away from this EP you need to listen to “Song 45“, great lyrics and a perfect fitting melody. I really enjoy what THFT tried to do with 1977 I think some of the lengthy songs could be trimmed down a little bit or throw in a few tempo shifts, nothing too drastic but enough to shake listeners up more. But for an unsigned band, I am really impressed with what I heard and the effort was very good and props to Michael Oettinger who produced the album. What I take away from 1977 is that THFT has a lot of potential aside from a few minor blemishes the album shines. If you like indie rock that ranges between R.E.M and a old Brand New and Manchester Orchestra sound this will be right up your alley. It’s not super catchy, but it has staying power and that’s what really counts. The first 200 copies of the EP come with hand printed packaging by the band. 1977 will be available on iTunes January 25th and the band will be touring the effort throughout 2011 so check it out. -James Terry - Bring On Mixed Reviews

"PropertyOfZack Showcase : : They Had Faces Then"

They Had Faces Then is a band that comes from New Brunswick, New Jersey that are releasing an interesting mix of music. In the past, the band released an EP titled Birds and just released a new EP called 1977 on January 1st.
For Fans Of: Bear Vs Shark, mewithoutYou
*Responses from Ken De Poto
How did the band come together? How have you grown since you guys started?
Chris (Guitar), Brian (Bass) and I (Ken, Vocals/Guitar) have been in and out of bands together since we were about 14. That all kind of fizzled off when we went to college. We would still all jam together on break or whatever, but nothing really ever came out of it. Brian and Chris met Matt (Drums) while at Rutgers and they introduced him to me and said that he was a really good drummer. When we all first got together to play it was one of those moments when you knew that what you were doing was right. Everything just fell into place and we started cranking out songs immediately.

We’ve grown exponentially since we first started. Everyone in the band is really good at what they do, and they all add their own flavor. Everyone adds an equal amount to the tracks, which makes the song writing process go a lot smoother.

What do you have to offer that other bands don’t? What sets you apart from a lot of the other newer bands out there today?
We play music that we are very passionate about and we sing words about subjects that we are very passionate about, and I think we do that without being too cheesy. There is heart in everything we do, which I feel has gotten a little lost these days. We’re also very big on DIY. We hand-made all of the packaging for our new EP ourselves. I feel as if some bands would rather just put in their debit card number on a website and wait for their pre-made packaging to come in rather than sit with an
exacto-knife and carve out digipak after digipak. Each of our EP’s has a little bit of us in it, which is really important to the band. It gives the whole thing a more intimate experience.

How is the live show compared to the general sound of material that’s been released?
The live show is as energetic as possible. There are times when Brian is getting right up in peoples faces and screaming at them, and then I’ll turn around and see Chris kicking over drums and cymbals. I also like to change up melodies a little bit live. This way it doesn’t feel like audience is just watching a band lip-sync to their record. We also have interludes between every song so there isn’t that awkward waiting around period in between songs. We don’t like for the audience to have much time to breath.

More times than not, influences tend to bleed through. What bands are currently inspiring the music that you’re making?
Right now I’ve really been into the simplicity of Violent Femmes and the quirky-ness of Talking Heads. Those were two bands that I grew up on. My dad was always playing their records in the car. Brian is a bit of an old soul. He really enjoys old blues and jazz artists. Matt and Chris are really good at finding new bands, usually stuff I’ve never heard of. This is good for me because I generally don’t listen to much new stuff, so they keep me on my feet.
As a whole we all listen to Bear vs Shark, Brand New, mewithoutYou, and bands like that.

What would you say the band has already accomplished and what do you have your eyes set on next?
I’m pretty proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. We’ve been a band for less than a year. We’ve played a bunch of good shows, done some good mini touring, met some amazing people, put out the new EP, and have a growing fan base. Playing good music with great friends is all we could ever ask for. All these extras are awesome.

As for the future, we have a handful of songs set aside for our full length. We also plan on doing as much touring as our bodies and our van can handle.

Thus far, what’s a favorite memory or something quirky that’s taken place with the band (in-studio, onstage, or elsewhere)?
One of my favorite personal memories happened in Wilmington, NC. We were stopped at a Wendys and I was walking through the parking lot when a car pulled up next to me and told me that he was playing our record in his stereo. I was kind of blown away that he was driving and saw us, and pulled in just to tell me that he was listening to our music. Little moments like that are nice when you’re away from home.

Also, anything Chris says instantly becomes a favorite moment. He is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. He can say anything and we’ll be in tears.

Is there anything in particular that you’d like people to take away from listening to your music?
Honestly, I just want people to take anything away from our music. I don’t care if it’s good or bad, at least they’re feeling something. Isn’t that the point anyway, to feel some sort of emotion while listening to music? - PropertyOfZack

"The Best Bands Are Always Unsigned"

1977 is a near perfect EP with seven solid tracks, kicking off with “Carter”, which acts as the perfect preview to what the other six songs are going to sound like. At first the guitar riffs seem to come off as repetitive from the first song to the next, until “Something About Water” explodes into its chorus, and the drummer gets to show off his chops. The album gains momentum in “You Without Teeth”, which is easily one of the strongest vocal performances, and has a 90’s rock feel that’s refreshing rather than forced.
Next comes “Anchors”, which sounds fairly reminiscent of The Sleeping’s latest effort. There’s not a lot of lyrical content considering it’s a four minute song, but it’s got a real good groove that calms you down right before “You Shepard”, which comes out of nowhere with a surge of energy. It’s the first track that they seem to just let loose and go all out, putting their guitars out there in the forefront, and that’s what makes it the climax of this EP. Then it’s back to the riffs they’re obviously most comfortable with in “Pretty Ugly People”, which is definitely the best transition track from “You Shepard” and “Song 45”. It’s the most polished and shows off more of this groups vocal and lyrical capabilities.
“Song 45” is a great closer to an EP that demands your attention. Each song is consistently well written and as an overall product, They Had Faces Then has come out with something great. Be sure to keep your eye out for these guys. - CWG Magazine

"They Had Faces Then - 1977 EP"


They Had Faces Then are a four-piece band from New Brunswick, New Jersey. The band consists of: Ken De Poto doing the singing as well as playing guitar, Chris Seitz on guitar, Brian Goglia on bass, and Matt Harvey on the drums. They Had Faces Then play indie-rock, but add a flavor of their very own into the mix. They released their brand new EP titled 1977 on the first day of 2011 -- which was produced by Michael Oettinger (who also produced favorites Say Anything, Transit, and and Man Overboard).

How is it?

It is fantastic! What a great way to bring in the new year with some excellent new tunes from a band way under the radar (hopefully this EP will change things for them). The 7-track EP displays various sounds coming from the band. In some songs, there is a hint of an early 90's grunge/alt-rock sound that is raw and packed with emotion. On other tracks, you will hear a laid back indie-rock sound with some outstanding guitar riffage going on. In ''Carter,'' 1977's opening track, the band shows off that early 90's rawness that can easily resemble a mid-tempo Nirvana song. This track is only the beginning of the diversity you'll hear throughout They Had Faces Then's 1977 EP.

The verses in ''Something About Water'' are like the calm before the storm, while the chorus is filled with thunderous guitar riffs and a hint of urgency. It is sure to be one of the tracks on the EP that will instantly grab the listener's attention. The quirky and energetic ''You Shepherd'' is another huge standout track on the EP. The beginning of the song contains more impressive guitar riffs from the band and soaring vocal work from Ken De Poto. Matt Harvey also does an outstanding job on the drums in ''You Shepherd.'' You simply cannot deny the level of talent that They Had Faces Then possess.

The soothing and euphoric sounds of ''Pretty, Ugly People'' is absolutely perfect for a night drive on a cold night. The song is also a bit reminiscent of TDAGARIM/Daisy-era Brand New. 1977's closing track, ''Song 45,'' is a powerhouse of a song -- which doesn't always mean it's heavy and loud, but the song contains beautiful instrumentation and a nice build-up (and a build-down at the end, which compliments the song's impressive musicianship). The band couldn't have picked a better song to close out the EP with.

Overall, They Had Faces Then's 1977 EP is an above average piece of work. There are several different moods and sounds going on throughout the EP, but not to the point where it sounds like it's all cluttered up, it actually flows together nicely and remains consistent from beginning to end. 1977 is essential to have in your music collection this year, and I can honestly say that it is the best EP release of the year thus far and it's not going to be easy to top.

Recommended If You Like
Good music, indie-rock, Honestly I cannot even think of any bands to compare them to so you will just have to find out for yourself!
- Absolute Punk


1977 EP -

Carter (Daniel, You See)*
Something About Water*
You Without Teeth
You Shepherd
Pretty, Ugly People*
Song 45*

* = college radio airplay



Coming from New Brunswick, New Jersey, They Had Faces Then play a unique and alluring brand of indie-rock that is a direct result of living through harsh winters and insane summers on the northeast coast. Their songs are infused with passion, as every bar brings you back to the moment they were first conceived in a damp, dark cellar; amidst empty beer bottles and cigarette smoke. They Had Faces Then incorporates the cool, calming sounds of alternative-rockers R.E.M, combines the rawness of Nirvana, and the unquestionable passion of Manchester Orchestra.

Their first EP entitled, "1977" was produced and mixed by Michael Oettinger (Say Anything, Man Overboard, Transit) and recorded at Cannon Found Soundation in Union City, New Jersey. They Had Faces Then took it upon themselves to record the tracks in as few takes as possible, thus not compromising the raw energy and emotion of each song. They Had Faces Then released the EP independently on January 1st physically, and on January 25th at

THFT has only one aim in mind; to infect their audiences with the energy and passion that they feel when creating and playing their music, both in studio or at their energetic live performances.