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Slick Shoes - Far From Nowhere (Cover Artwork)

Slick Shoes

Slick Shoes: Far From NowhereFar From Nowhere (2003)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:


Contributed by: adamAdam
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For whatever reason, I always thought Slick Shoes was a typical post-Blink 182 pop punk clone. Not that I had any actual reasons or justification to hold that opinion, nor do I think I'd heard many of their songs prior to now, but that was the vibe I picked up on. From the first track on "Far From N.
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For whatever reason, I always thought Slick Shoes was a typical post-Blink 182 pop punk clone. Not that I had any actual reasons or justification to hold that opinion, nor do I think I'd heard many of their songs prior to now, but that was the vibe I picked up on. From the first track on "Far From Nowhere" Slick Shoes proves they're a band with a lot more going for them than I had assumed.

While you can still hear the occasional overtly pop elements on this record, Slick Shoes do a fairly admirable job at defining themselves as a fast, tight melodic punk band. The 12 songs that make up this album are well written and always seem to redeem each poppy vocal moment with some charging rock'n'roll guitar work. Such is the case in "Always There," "Darko" and several other tracks. With that in mind, the guitars totally save this album. The crisp production and the revved up playing give "Far From Nowhere" the sound of a good rock record rather than an overly polished new-school punk effort.

This all cumulates in the track "Hope Against Hope," which slays.

Due to their former label Slick Shoes is living with the stigma of being a Christian band. While I tend to find religious messages in my music rather alienating, there's very little (if anything) on this record that does this. For all intents and purposes, "Far From Nowhere" is a secular album. Ryan Kepke's lyrics are both positive and personal, but written in a way that doesn't preach at all.

This normally isn't my preferred style, but I can't deny that Slick Shoes are very good at what they do. Fans of fast, "new school" skatepunk (with some choice guitar solos) should check this out.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
carltheone (March 23, 2007)

this is the best slick shoes' cd,,, darko is the best song

Anonymous (November 2, 2005)

I love Slick Shoes and Most Definetly dont think they are a BLINK 182 clone! So there.

Anonymous (May 31, 2005)

This is the best of all Slick Shoes Albums!!!

Anonymous (November 25, 2004)

Yea...what the last person said. Don't you know that the jesus thing is just a joke to get you to fall in line and be a sheep. I bet they voted for bush. You know my friends play their music while they skate so I thought that is why it sounded so bad because their is so much wheel noise. I listened to it today while at home. yuck! I wish I could give it 0 stars

Anonymous (November 25, 2004)

OMG! I thought these guys were cool until I listened to the music. Claming to be punk with or without Jesus (so played out) does not make you cool or your music good. Try again.

Anonymous (November 25, 2004)

ive heard better quality recordings from the 12 year old girls down the street on a cassette recorder. rarely do i ever say this but this band sucks and the fact that they are signed by anyone is a pure example of the lack of music in the business today. surely an a&r guy with a defective whisper 2000 hearing aid heard this band. for a real punk band that is totally indy with a great sounding recording check out punos.com while i was checking yahoo for song clips to make this view i found a band with the same name as one of their album titles. so i'm thinking, if these guys rip off indy bands how christian is that...but don't worry guys, in case no one told you, god too is not real, just like the easter bunny, tooth fairy, and santa.now if someone is reading this that is under 6 years old, i'm only kidding about santa but this band does suck as much as being dragged to church with a 3 day cocaine buzz.

Anonymous (October 25, 2003)

I have to disagree with the whole christian lyrics, almost the whole record is about god. You really have to listen to the lyrics to hear it, but almost all the songs are.

Anonymous (August 4, 2003)

OK, my name is Jim and I write for Punkpress.com anyhow, I'm a long time slick shoes fan and this is my opinion of the new record:

>>Slick Shoes
>>Far From Nowhere
>>July 8, 2003
>>Side One Dummy Records
>>5/5 Stars

Slick Shoes is a band that needs no introduction. For the past eight years (since vocalist Ryan Kepke was a mere fourteen years old) the band has been churning out metal influenced, speedy technical melodic punk, in the vein of Strung Out or Bigwig. Having released four full length CD's on Christian super label Tooth & Nail, along with an EP, and a split EP with Cooter (now known as Autopilot Off) on Fueled By Ramen records, the band never really had a breakthrough hit...until now. 2003 brings a new record label, a new lineup, and a brand new full length CD. If this CD doesn't get the band some of the recognition they deserve, I don't know what will.

Lineup changes have plagued Slick Shoes for sometime. The original lineup consisted of Ryan Kepke on lead vocals, Joe Nixon on drums, Jackson Mould on guitar, and Jeremiah Brown on bass. The original lineup recorded the self-titled EP in 1997 on Tooth and Nail as well as the band's first full length 'Rusty later that year. The next year, Slick Shoes would add Dale Yob as additional guitarist for their next full length 'Burn Out'. With two guitar players, Slick Shoes sound got much more darker and technical. Two years later brought guitarist Greg Togawa, after the heavily praised Jackson and Yob exited. Having only a single guitarist, it was much harder for the band to write technical songs (yet Jackson did it on 'Rusty' and bands like Sick of Change managed to do it, hmm...). While Togawa was a great songwriter, the next three releases, 2000's split EP with Cooter, 2000's full length 'Wake Up Screaming', and 2002's self titled full length all suffered from being overly poppy. Gone were the crazy guitar solos of the EP and 'Rusty' and the heavy technical riffage of 'Burn Out'. For three years I tried to con myself into liking the new Slick Shoes sound, and while songs like "Angel", "Ten Ways", and "Alone" are great pop punk songs, they just aren't the Slick Shoes that I know and love. All the changed with the release of 'Far From Nowhere', Slick Shoes' brand new full length album.

There are actually three new members since last summer’s 2002 Self-Titled full length. Jeremiah was the first to go last summer, so in came Kevin Clark. Jonah Peterson of the band Phaeton Lane was brought in as additional guitarist to accompany Greg Togawa, but soon Greg would leave. David Stoltenberg filled the gap at lead guitar. This had Slick Shoes fans asking one question: "Can this new guy shred as much as Jackson?" The answer is yes and David proves worthy with the intense riffs of "Carpenteria" or the soaring guitar solo in "Down Hill". Sure Greg used to be a great guitar player, but he rarely wrote technical riffs or guitar solos. Luckily David fixes that problem. Now you are thinking: "Ok this new guy can shred, but is he as good of a song writer as Jackson?" The answer: yes. The twelve tracks (thirteen if you include the hidden one) surpass even those of classic 'Burn Out' or 'Rusty' era songs. 'Far From Nowhere' essentially takes the best parts about the old and new Slick Shoes and combines them into one. It takes the heavy technical riffage and metal inspired solos of the Jackson-era and blends them with the pop sensibility and catchiness of the Greg-era. The result is phenomenal. 'Rusty' and 'Burn Out' were both great records, yet they suffered from a bad case of repetitiveness. Since Slick Shoes songwriting has matured over time, this problem no longer plagues the band. Unlike other bands of the ilk who have been releasing slowed down, more matured music; Slick Shoes cranks up the tempo and pounds you from start to finish. Slick Shoes are one of the few bands (Rufio does not count) that still you use the standard new school punk beat (widely known as the "Fat Wreck Chords" beat). Even Strung Out, pioneers of the beat, has stopped using it.

The first track, a single called "Darko", is probably the best example of the new Slick Shoes sound. Fast, pounding, melodic, catchy, technical, and yet not predictable. The tempo quickly changes during breakdowns and come unexpectedly, grabbing the listener by surprise. An excellent way to kick off the record. "Carpenteria", the second track on 'Far From Nowhere' starts off with a Bigwig styled guitar solo and later moves in to crazy riffs (that I mentioned earlier) that would turn Rufio green with envy. "Always There" is the prime example of the mix of old and new styles. Crazy riffs combined with catchy choruses are present and in control, with a great guitar solo I might add. Three great tracks in a row. The album's first single "Now's the Time" is the slowest track on the record. Its catchy melody (borderline on annoying) will get stuck in your head for days. Pseudo-metal riffs are the only thing that does it for me in this one. "Sleep In" is a straightforward rocker along with "We Were Young", a song that reflects on growing up. While neither of the tracks standout, both are still good. Originally appearing on the Atticus 2 compilation, "Once Again" was wisely re-recorded for 'Far From Nowhere'. The verse now sound less conflicting with the music and the chorus is still catchy as hell. As far as pop punk goes, this is an excellent song. "Simon's Quest" is another single off the record, but I'm not really sure why it was chosen. Nothing really stands out for me other than a few riffs and the fact that the tempo doesn't soar. "Hope Against Hope", one of the best songs written during the Greg-era, makes its triumphant return on 'Far From Nowhere'. While the gang vocals have been lost in the transition, the song still carries the intensity and anger that filled the original. Great punk rock track. The cheesiest song (a Slick Shoes album wouldn't be a Slick Shoes album without one cheesy song, I'm still trying to clear my mind from that horrible "Friday Nite" song on the last album) on 'Far From Nowhere' is "Hello Stupid". The lyrics are quite, well, stupid, yet the riffs are insanely catchy in a ridiculous way, and the chorus is second to none. I really like this track for a reason that I can't quite put my finger on. "Down Hill" is technical punk rock played to perfection and David absolutely flies on the tremendous solo. Excellent. "Drive to the End" opens exactly like "Pass Me By", the second track off the bands 2002 release. It often makes me forget which disc I'm actually listening to. Still a great track. The highlight of 'Far From Nowhere' however is the hidden track. The untitled metal track (which starts at 4:20, remember Slick Shoes is no longer Christian) is so over the top and wild is absolutely ridiculous; and I love every second of it. From the Slayer-style death metal, to the metal core breakdowns, to the sky soaring 80's metal guitar solo, this is the ultimate pseudo-metal song. Rufio, eat your heart out. They couldn't do this if they tried, and they did with "The Wrath."

This brings me to the end of the review and now I'm really at a lost for words. Slick Shoes has impressed the hell out of me. Ryan Kepke's vocals have constantly been improving, David Stoltenberg's guitar playing is drop dead astonishing, and Joe Nixon still hasn't missed a beat on drums. Dropping the Christian thing is obviously for the better for this band, as they are sure to reach new heights with 'Far From Nowhere'; and if they don't, someone is going to die.

-Jim
PunkPress.com
hope that helps clear up some arguments

Anonymous (July 21, 2003)

It's so funny that all you "punks" hate Blink 182. Sure they're overrated
but why focus all your hate on them when you can focus it on bands that try and copy Blink 182.(Simple Plan for example) Dude Ranch rocked by the way.

Anonymous (July 21, 2003)

I wish we sounded more like No Use For A Name. If only we could write good songs.
-Slick Shoes

adam (July 20, 2003)

of course my former speculation was off. That's why I said "Not that I had any actual reasons or justification to hold that opinion"

Anonymous (July 18, 2003)

i think it's song #10 on Rusty that blink 182 directly ripped off on "Man Overboard"... pussies.

Anonymous (July 16, 2003)

I think Adam's former speculation of this band was off. Post Blink 182? C'mon, this guys were off making tracks much before Blink ever went mainstream. Check out: Rusty and Wake Up Screaming. They are both amazing albums both of which hes not preaching, but talking about life. We need some more bands like this. Hell of a show too.

inagreendase (July 15, 2003)

remember that song "shimmer" by fuel (the mainstream rock band, not the punk band) a few years ago? that song and track seven on this cd have nearly the same exact intro, with the lightly strummed chords and the violin, it's kinda weird

Anonymous (July 13, 2003)

confusious say, dont judge album by cover.

Anonymous (July 12, 2003)

who the fuck is jason tate?

Anonymous (July 11, 2003)

"do they still like jesus?"

i don't know but i hear he has bitchin' sandals.

Ramo

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

donno.... probably still luv jesus

i like the cover, haven't heard the record though

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

do they still like jesus?

wyzo

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

crap, i meant this many stars

Anonymous (July 10, 2003)

Just listened to this, and while Burnout will always be the best Slick Shoes album, this is still pretty great. There really isn't a mindblowing track though, which is kinda dissapointing, but I think this album is much more consistently good than Rusty was, which had like 7 or 8 classic songs and a ton of filler. Definitely the best post Jackson album.

Anonymous (July 9, 2003)

that actually is a jason tate quote but i doubt it was posted by him. slick shoes are the current 'featured band' on his site and that's the little paragraph describing this album.

Anonymous (July 9, 2003)

Holy Hardcore? Ha that's a Screeching Weasel tune...Holy shit!!!! yay can't wait for the Riverdales new one to come out! Sick!
-Felix

boogadaboogadaboogada

Icapped2pac (July 9, 2003)

do you dipshits really believe that Jason Tate would sign his name to a post after all the mud-slinging thats gone on lately? Come on, that's gotta be a joke.

And this band is just OK. They get minus points for the awful guitar solos. If I wanted to hear that shit, I'd go back to my parents' house and dig up my Cherry Pie tape. CC Deville ripped that fucking solo, man.

Anonymous (July 9, 2003)

This is probably Slick Shoes best album they've ever made. The new guitarists are really good. They've gone back to their old style ala Rusty.

Anonymous (July 9, 2003)

Good stuff,nothing overwhelming just fun pop punk and these guys are actually one of the few bands that do it very well-oldpunker-

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

dont you mean a little much of a MxPx clone?

RyanTMurphy (July 8, 2003)

This score is for the album cover, I like it.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

I dont think thats supposed to be hearts..looks like the dude put a pair of balls on each side of is name...

JohnnyDanger (July 8, 2003)

are you dead fucking serious? did he just sign his name with little hearts? and hes a 19 year old man? is that a joke?

thebouncingsoul (July 8, 2003)

jason tate really digs these guys...does anything else need to be said?

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

Slick Shoes have long been one of my favorite bands, however; in the past few years we have seen them change, grow, and mature in ways I never thought possible. Their new album "Far From Nowhere" will forever remain a staple in my music collection. Fast, fun, furious melodic rock fronted by one of my all time favorite lyrics writers.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

This new guy is NOT as good as jackson. Listen to burn out and tell me there is a better punk guitar player / songwriter out there.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

i heard that song 'friday night' on my nhl2003 game. man. that was some awful mxpx cover band shit. fuck these christian dorks. i heard the new song 'darko' on the warped comp. sounds like rufio covering mxpx now. fuck this .

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

this band sucks so much, horrid vocals and lame skate punk drum beat

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

Its Holy Hardcore!

Eddie (July 8, 2003)

Slick Shoes is pretty good. They perform very well, too.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

Sounds like Slick Shoes is back in top form, and I hear the new guy is actually a better guitarist than Jackson was. I can't wait to pick this up.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

This is by far the best Slick Shoes album. Jackson might have written some of their best songs, but the new guitarist Dave (?) fills the large boots very well.

Anonymous (July 8, 2003)

This band should have changed their name when jackson left 3 albums ago. He was slick shoes.

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