Ontario's Cinema Face began in 1980, brandishing a clever blend of progressive rock and AOR. Combined with the band's theatrical stage show and impressive stage lighting, Cinema Face were quick to establish an impressive following which eventually led them to the studio to craft their self-financed debut. In early 1983, "Cinema Face" was unleashed upon the unsuspecting masses, though distribution issues would quickly dash any hopes of mass marketing for the band. Though efforts to conquer their native country proved disastrous, the band quickly became cult heroes in Japan and parts of Europe. Lack of funding eventually grounded the band before they could ever capitalize on their new found overseas success.
When Pacemaker Records reissued their debut in 1994, the surprising demand for Cinema Face prompted the band to reunite for a followup album. "Face Card" was released in 1996, though the band were incapable of trumping anything they had accomplished in their prior incarnation. It is generally regarded as an inferior followup to their stellar debut. Since then, the band has all but vanished with members embarking on various musical and non-musical projects over the years. Vocalist/guitarist, Franco, has since worked in film, theatre and issued a solo album, "Cydonia Mensae" to critical acclaim.
Cinema Face is truly one of Canada's national treasures. With a sleek, jarring and musically accomplished sound, the band should have been poised for greatness in their prime. As with many other fantastic bands, it was merely a case of bad business and poor timing. With a sound slightly comparable to Zon, Harlequin or Shooting Star, Cinema Face possesses a decidedly darker style than any of the aforementioned artists. Rooted firmly in theatrics, much of what can be found on this release could easily pass for a film score to an intense psychological thriller or sci-fi movie. Perhaps the two strongest cuts here are "You Drive Me Out of My Mind" and "Ugly Sisters", each possessing a brooding intensity that rarely surfaces in this genre.
It is absolutely imperative that fans of progressive AOR dig in and check out this masterwork from Cinema Face. You'll be scratching your head wondering why you ever missed them in the first place. If there was ever a band who truly encapsulates the "talented band who fell thru the cracks" theory, it is Ontario's brilliant Cinema Face.