Face Dancer - Brand New Faces

Face Dancer – Brand New Faces


Without doubt, of the handful of bands that are GDM favourites over the years, Face Dancer are right up there, it’s great to see them back in action with this new album and a renewed presence.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: Face Dancer
ALBUM: Brand New Faces
LABEL: Self Released
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Face Dancer

LINEUP: John West – lead vocals * Jeff Adams – guitar, guitar synth * David Utter – guitar, backing vocals * Billy Trainor – drums, backing vocals * Steve Carodiskey – bass, backing vocals * John Suchy – keyboards, backing vocals * Victor Giordano – keyboards, orchestration, production

TRACK LISTING: 01 Words * 02 Smash * 03 Wanna Know * 04 Smashbox Symphony * 05 Mr Shakedown * 06 15 Minutes * 07 Straight To The Top * 08 Larger Than Lifesize

RATING: 95/100


It’s been over a decade since Maryland’s finest: Face Dancer were prominent on the GDM website. Back in 2003, the band had released their back catalogue, plus there was a 2003 Live Album featuring eight tracks which we reviewed at the time. GDM also ran some interviews with drummer Billy Trainor, all of which can be read by clicking on the Face Dancer Tag below.

So now it’s 2016, and the band have reappeared though they haven’t been inactive over the intervening decade. Their personnel has changed, even between those that recorded this latest album, versus the current line-up (which now includes guitarist Charlie Thomas and bassist/keyboardist P.J Lee), so there is flux occurring.

The Songs

There’s not a lot on quantity (just the 8 tracks), but like any Face Dancer album, what we get is captivating. ‘Words’ takes us out onto the highway, and is quite a progressive affair. Certainly this is a different take on a band that many of us at GDM are familiar with, and catches us with our pants down. Slightly heavier, with some cinematic qualities toward the end too.

You can view the video for the track ‘Smash’, which features Billy Trainor’s trademark heavy drum-work, big vocal shout-outs and some interesting change-up parts in between. Returning to Face Dancer’s stock and trade, ‘Wanna Know’ is a catchy rocker with lots of finger-snapping and hand-claps to boot.

‘Smashbox Symphony’ takes the commercial route, with a bouncy arrangement all round, more pop than rock I’d suggest. ‘Mr Shakedown’ is the album’s heaviest moment, the intensity level is something you’d not associate with Face Dancer on previous albums, so this is intriguing and eye-opening.

For something a little different, ’15 Minutes’ is a punchy number punctuated with brass work at the intro and throughout the song. ‘Straight To The Top’ is perhaps their closest moment to a pure form of melodic rock, and with lyrics like ‘fight the good fight’, you know this is a sentiment straight from the 80’s. The quirky song-title ‘Larger Than Lifesize’ is a boisterous way to finish up, with loads of guitar work, insistent drum parts and an atmospheric backdrop.

In Summary

Without doubt, of the handful of bands that are GDM favourites over the years, Face Dancer are right up there. It’s great to see them back in action with this new album and a renewed presence. The eight songs presented here are quite varied, and will give listeners and FD fans a run for their money that’s for sure. There’s a lot of FD material which exists at this site, so have a dig around, and also support the band throughout their social media network.



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