The Faction


The Faction Room 101 and Growing Pains LP

Notable not only as one of the first skate punk bands, but also as a skate punk band with an actual pro skater in their lineup. As can be surmised from the title, these are demo versions that would eventually appear on their first two releases: fast songs about skating, cops harassing them about skating, etc. They’re legends of the style and if you’re a diehard for it, you’re already picking this up. I haven’t ever successfully stood on a skateboard, so skate punk never endeared itself to me. This music usually just reminds me of shitty older dudes at shows I went to growing up, who love to use pejorative slurs and say charming shit like “If you dont wanna get hit, get out of the pit.”

The Faction No Hidden Messages: 40th Anniversary Edition 2xLP

As the title indicates, this is a 40th anniversary reissue of this South Bay band’s 1983 record, with a bonus LP’s worth of live tracks from a 1983 show in San Francisco. This reminds me of my first days into punk rock and going to the On Broadway in San Francisco to see whoever was in town. With other bands like CODE OF HONOR, the FACTION were the founders of skate punk hardcore. Quicker in pace, but still quite melodic, this has stood the test of time. 1983, 2022, 40th anniversary? Come on, guys, do the math. This was a great listen.

The Faction Corpse in Disguise EP reissue

The FACTION were O.G. skate-rockers, widely known as the band in which Powell Peralta legend Steve Caballero played bass. With the exception of a few song snippets from skate videos back in the day, I had never really heard much of their catalog, so this 40th anniversary edition of their 1984 EP was new to me. They sound kind of like a chilled-out TSOL on these four songs, which, by the way, are not the same four songs that appeared on the original release. So is it really a reissue? Either way, it’s still suitable headphones material for some casual ripping, and I really can’t hear it without picturing fat, fish-shaped boards with big wheels flashing at the top of vert ramps.

The Faction Collection 1982–1985 2xLP

San Jo’s pioneers of the skate rock thing give you a nice remaster of their complete ’80s recordings collection. Featuring skateboard pin-up legend Steve Caballero, you get the high-fiving bro factor in full effect on songs like “Tongue Like a Battering Ram” and “Skate and Destroy,” which aren’t so bad musically. You also get early gems like “Room 101” and “Yesterday is Gone,” so there’s some merit to this collection. Still, it’s hard for me to get through this in one sitting. I’d much rather hear the likes of LOS OLVIDADOS, DRUNK INJUNS, or even FREE BEER when partaking in the sweaty ballsack rock of yore but still, it’s a nice history lesson to the youthful shredders of the future. Dude.

The Faction Greatest Grinds LP

Skate punk legends the FACTION have reunited the original lineup to re-record twelve of their best in one convenient collection. All the favorites are here, including “Skate and Destroy,” “Lost In Space,” and personal favorite “Let’s Go Get Cokes.” Unlike most bands that have recently re-recorded classic material, this doesn’t come off as a phoned-in cash grab. The band still sounds great and the songs haven’t lost any of the energy of the earlier versions. Listening to this makes me wanna go skate in an empty parking lot right now.

The Faction Late Night Live 2xLP

I’m not sure that the kids are clamoring for an archival double live LP from 1984, but I admit this is a pretty good account of this classic skate punk band from San Jose. You get twenty live-on-radio renditions (a couple are interview segments) of selections from their first few records across four sides at 45rpm. The audio is great, basically raw studio-quality. Limited to 250 copies, this is for the skate punk ’80s USHC fanatics only.

The Faction Epitaph 12″

A posthumous release, six songs in all including a cover of GENERATION X’s “Your Generation” and MAMAS AND THE PAPAS’s “California Dreamin”. The originals mix the FACTION’s pop/surf punk style with a DOA-type hardcore sound, while the covers are credible. Good power.

The Faction Dark Room 12″

Slowing down the pace, five of the six tracks here are mid-tempo punk. While they maintain their overall California HC sound despite the change of pace, the FACTION do throw in bits of funk, etc., too. Personal-type lyrics.

The Faction Corpse in Disguise EP

“Corpse in Disguise” comes out as a MISFITS-influenced tune with an unrefined rocky sound. It’s got all the catches and hooks, but like most FACTION melodies it lacks something which is hard to put the finger on. The entire EP has a metal/rock flavor, though the lyrics are getting more intelligent with each release. The FACTION drives a powerful, energetic set live; in the studio, what emerges isn’t usually the same. A young band that’s bound to grow.

The Faction No Hidden Messages LP

The FACTION are a bunch of typical California teenagers who are currently going through their “punk rock” phase. Musically, they have that entertaining skatecore-cum-beach punk sound, which is mainly divided here between crisp mid-tempo numbers with melodic teen vocals (like “Why Save the Whales?” and “Being Watched”), fast thrashed-out songs with a spunky quality (like “Running Amok” and “Fast Food Diet”), and a couple of slow rockers (like “Not Mine”). From a lyrical standpoint, the LP should be entitled No Important Messages.

The Faction Yesterday Is Gone EP

The first release by this South Bay band. It reminds me a lot of CODE OF HONOR, with the instrumentals going from thrash into reverse gear, and the vocals mixed way up front to accentuate the strong lyrics.