April 11th, 2009 | Album reviews

Stream: Le Face “Isolation”


(from Isolation out now on Dead Beat)

With a name inspired in equal parts by La Peste and Le Shok, Le Face know what they are aiming for when creating a classic punk record. They draw from the catchy post-punk attack of songs like “Better Off Dead” and “Color Scheme,” yet speed them up and dirty them down to make one of the best punk records to come out of the state since the turn of the century. Their music exemplifies the band’s obsession with past and present punk by offering quick loud blasts of music that could fit easily on Killed by Death #1001, and confrontational stage banter that would call to mind anyone from Alan Vega to Hot Rod Todd. Their live shows, known for their brutality, always end in blood and often (as was the case a few weeks ago at the 5 Star Bar in downtown) with the arrival of the fire department. The Los Angeles-based punk band’s debut LP blends Black Randy-meets-Lee Ving vocals over a sometimes-fuzzed-out and sometimes-clean wash of guitar, bass and drums. Vocalist Marcus Billets sings about serial killers, the Christian right, Salvador Dali, depression and isolation, offering the perfect soundscape for the disturbingly beautiful, almost completely black and white cover art while the guitar and bass lead the listener’s mind and emotions all over the place. One issue I do have is that a lyric sheet could have helped—most of the lyrics are lost in the vocal distortion. Some copies of the record come with a bonus 7” featuring non-album tracks recorded by Paul Roessler of the Screamers. Unfortunately, my copy did not come with this!

—Daniel Clodfelter

Le Face’s Isolation out now on Dead Beat.