Side Walk Slam
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Side Walk Slam

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


"The Celebrity Cafe"

Side Walk Slam - & We Drive Some of the best rock we've heard in a while. Maybe it's indie-rock, maybe it's punk rock, but it's one of the first albums I've heard in a long time that sounds like they are using the guitar for what it's made for. To rock.
The first track hits you quick and hard and then it continues on a roller coaster from there! A great release! - Michael new pop


"All Music Guide"

Originality is overrated in pop music, really - it's one of those things that only critics care about. There's definitely something to be said for simply mastering a genre and burrowing into it as deep as you can, not necessarily bringing anything really new to the table but giving your chosen style something of a personal stamp and making it sound effortless and fun. That's pretty much what Side Walk Slam has done with the pop-punk genre that is popularly identified with bands like Green Day and blink-182. Side Walk Slam's hooks aren't quite as blissfully obvious as those of its predecessors, but there's plenty to sing along with here and lots of pretty background harmonies washing up against the rock-hard layers of guitar and machine-gun drumming. And although Side Walk Slam is, yes, a Christian band, only one song on this album - the very fine "Stand Alone" - comes close to preaching about anything, and what it preaches is independence of mind and a willingness to go against the tide of fashion. Who's going to argue with that? Recommended. - Rick Anderson


"The Phantom Toolbooth"

At first glance, . . . And We Drive may appear to be just another three-piece teenage punk band thrown together out of pure boredom. However, a closer glance at some of the lyrics suggests a deeper purpose behind the music they make.

To illustrate this point, take a look at one quality: honesty. So many bands today get respect (and record sales) by having or claiming to have "honest" lyrics. Few actually do, but Side Walk Slam is the exception. With the typical teenage standpoint of surviving simple high-school romance, it reminds us just what it is to be human, to make wrong choices and persevere regardless.

By not being afraid of being labeled as a stereotypical pop-punk band--singing mostly about teenage angst and broken hearts--band members} are able to be completely honest about what they've gone through. Sure, seven out of ten songs deal with relationships, but those kinds of mistakes are a big part of life and if they aren't dealt with right the lessons are never learned.
There are also excellent songs about spiritual life such as the titletrack and "Stand Alone." Overall, the music and the songwriting are excellent, with a message that secular counterparts can't compete with. Hopefully, Josiah Curtis (vocals, bass), Matt Jackson (drums), and Neil Endicott (guitar) are going to be making excellent music like this for years to come. (4.5 out of 5)
- Ryan Little


"The Punk Site"

Rating: 3.75/5
Best song: Time Will Pass you By...
The Indiana pop-punk trio known as Side Walk Slam have graced Tooth & Nail Records with their third album ...And We Drive. Twelve teenage anthems come streaming through your speakers as you pop this new CD in your player. And for once, the anthems aren't about the female sex. These are songs about life; and all the things that occur during it's presence. Be it the good or the bad; everything plays a role. Side Walk Slam sings about past failures and success; looking into the future while never forgetting the past and just simply living life to the fullest. You know that these lyrics come from the heart and really mean something. These are songs that you can come back to in a few years time and still connect to when you hear them.

As for the melody and rhythm of it all, it's like most pop-punk.Catchy, melodic vocals by the frontman (this time he goes by the name of Josiah Curtis) backed up by intoxicating guitar riffs and great bass melodies. With the drum work rounding it all and never overpowering the rest. It does get a bit repetitive at times, but generally they do a pretty good job at keeping it now and exciting.
Tooth & Nail have another band which stands a good chance to do well in the business....And We Drive is a perfect example of this.
- Bobby Gorman


"HM Magazine"

Sometimes you forget that certain bands still exist. Case in point, Side Walk Slam. I didn't know they were still a band, but I was wrong. Dead wrong. Now don't I look the fool? The fool am I. By recording 12 more tracks of pop-flavored punk, (this time it's more punk-flavored pop) all in the area of two minutes long, Side Walk Slam has come a long way, yet has stayed in the same place; mainly because they'll still be the Christian alternative to naughty 'secular' pop-punk. Of course, how naughty can this music really be?
Gone, for Side Walk Slam, is some of the silly hardcore-punk posing. And the posturing replacement? Handclaps. Gone are some of the more overt similarities to the pop-punk forefathers. And the pop-punk replacement? Similarities to more 'heartfelt' pop modernists like a sped up version of Saves The Day (especially on "One of a Kind" and "Behind My Back"). But Side Walk Slam hasn't forgotten all their roots. No, of course not, "When I'm Gone" and some of "Back To You" is frightfully similar to Blink 182 circa Enema of the State and some of the moments on ...And We Drive are unavoidably MxPx-ish. Keep going Side Walk Slam. I won't forget you this time. [Tooth & Nail]
- Jeffrey Ellinger


"True Punk"

If you have been disappointed by the latest MxPx albums (which were good, but maybe too slow ), you must listen to the new record from Side Walk Slam, their third full length album "...And We Drive". On the 12 songs, the trio is able to bring back the good pop punk rock sound of the first 90's, the ones of bands like Green Day and Mxpx to be exact. Side Walk Slam play fast and catchy pop punk tunes, with a rock edge and with a lot of melody. This album is like the Descendents meet Green Day, but with a younger spirit and will to play awesome music about life experiences that everyone can relate to. The record is fast, the songs are really inspired and the music that comes out of the stereo is fresh, young and energetic, a real pleasure for these times - True Punk


"Decapolis.com"

I have not been a fan of Side Walk Slam's earlier material, but when I heard the first song on this recording, I was somewhat surprised. For this album, a different member took over the writing duties and it's made for a helpful change. While the band hasn't gone in a completely new direction, the songs are more creative then their last and they kept my attention longer. The first 3rd of the album is the best, with the middle songs running together and then ending with a good song at the end. The first song does a good job of representing what you're about to hear, so if you are just looking to sample it, you know where to go. - Nate Bailey


"Poppunk.com"

This is the third album I've reviewed by Side Walk Slam in the last couple of years and steady improvement has been accomplished on each one. Smooth pop punk that sinks into your skin and without an ounce of negativity is how I would describe And We Drive. This is something you just don't see too much of these days. A joyous, positive feeling and a squeaky clean image should be more prevalent in today's society but I'll save that rant for another day. Tight, catchy rhythms are layered with cool-hand percussion and are performed with a sense of maturity that is uncommon today in the genre. Lead vocals have the ability to melt down each song and the drawn out notes have a lasting appeal. The background vox are synced in perfect angelic harmonization on each track. The only thing I never liked about the band was the name, but that's no big deal. These guys just keep on picking up momentum. Purchase at www.toothandnail.com. - Travis Shope


"Punk International"

These are very dangerous times to be a pop-punk band. While the market is being flooded with so many different variants of the genre, sometimes it is just best to tune out and complain about how things went wrong. It seems that everything in the world is upside down, bands that truly do a great job writing pop-punk are not the ones that are absolutely huge right now. Enter Side Walk Slam. This band, native from Indiana have released "ŠAnd We Drive" which seems to be an exercise in how pop punk can still be good.

The music reminds me of high school. It reminds me of everything I like about "Dude Ranch" and "Move to Bremerton" EP and my other favorite 90's pop-punk albums. The melodies in songs like "One of a Kind" are so incredibly catchy that I find them ringing in my head long after the music has ceased. The songs on the album fluctuate between the mid-tempo and the fast snare driven pop-punk that is reminiscent of many bands from the previous decade. There are some great vocal harmonies in every single one of the songs on the album, however the band manages to pull them off without being cheesy. Songs like "Carmi Times" and " Time Will Pass You By" will have you picturing yourself driving in the back of your best friend's car, skipping school while the sun shinning on your face and wind blowing in your hair. The overall feel good aspect of the album is growing on me because it provides the occasional escape.

Lyrically, the album seems to be more genuine than other pop-punk albums out there. Of course, there are songs about breakups and broken hearts. However the band does not pander to kids' feelings or desires just to make a buck, they are talking about things that matter to them and that are important to them in their own time, they are not a bunch of 25 year olds trying to relate to 13 year olds. While being on the label known for supporting Christian acts (to put it one way), Side Walk Slam does not preach and they are not trying to evangelize. "Stand Alone" is the only song on the album which remotely hints at Christian ideals, however if you heard the song and didn't know that the band was on Tooth and Nail you wouldn't think anything of it. So the band does a great job of writing about their feelings and their own experiences without being preachy about it. That is something that I respect.
While I will not proclaim "ŠAnd We Drive" as album of the year by any means, I have greatly enjoyed listening to it and I probably will listen to it from time to time when I need a break or when things are getting too heavy from me. It is always good to take a break from the seriousness of it all and remind yourself about better times. This band deserves to be big, and I would much rather hear them on the radio than a plethora of their genre-mates - Lalo Guerrero


"Christianpunks.com"

Side Walk Slam - ...And We Drive
2003-09-16
Average Rating: 9/10
Music 9
Vocals 10
Message 9
Overall 9
- Christian Punks


Discography

FULL LENGTHS:
Cd ~ ...And We Drive - Tooth and Nail Records 2003
Cd ~ Give Back - Tooth and Nail Records 2002
Cd ~ Past Remains - Tooth and Nail Records 2001

SINGLES:
Time Will Pass You By ~ ...And We Drive
Carmi Times ~ ...And We Drive
All I Have ~ Give Back
I'll Be Waiting At The South Side Tracks ~ Past Remains

VIDEOS:
Time Will Pass You By
Carmi Times

AIRPLAY:
Side Walk Slam's singles and videos have been aired on tons of TV shows and radio stations Nation wide. Including FUSE "oven fresh keepers"
and MTV2

EXPORTS:
Japan ~ ...And We Drive / Enhanced Cd (2 Videos)
Japan ~ Give Back and Past Remains on 1 Cd

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

How many bands lose their songwriting apparatus and come back swinging? Indiana pop-punk trio Side Walk Slam have done it - twice now, in fact. Since Past Remains, their debut album, SWS have released two subsequent albums, Give Back and their newest, ...And We Drive. Original singer/songwriter Marcuss Hall left the band after the first album, though he penned all but two of the tracks on the second; ...And We Drive is the first album featuring the writing talents of bassist Josiah Curtis, who took the step up to chief songwriter and lead vocalist. "It's not really all that surprising that we 'bounced back' from Marcuss' departure, because Josiah has always had an amazing talent to write songs," drummer Matt Jackson says. "It's just when Marcuss left, it gave him the chance to step up - a chance to shine, if you will. I think Marcuss' style may still show a bit in our writing, but I definitely feel we've moved on to a bit of a different sound."

Side Walk Slam's new album is a smorgasbord of tuneful punked-out pop songs reminiscent of the early '90s punk explosion; fans of Green Day, MxPx and Blink 182 will be all over this one. The first single and video "Time Will Pass You By" features gritty live footage of the band cranking it out in a tiny basement venue, replete with sweaty fans and mass singalongs. "The new albums still deals with the same things we've always sung about," Jackson says. "Relationships, fun and friends. We just write about whatever comes naturally, both lyrically and musically. We feel if you try to write a song about this or that, or try to write a song that sounds this way or that, it won't sound natural. We strive to play what feels right to us."

Recorded this past April at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, CO, SWS once again worked with the prolific team of Bill Stevenson (Descendants/All) and Jason Livermore, who've developed a strong working relationship with the band, having worked on all three albums. "All the guys at the Blasting Room are amazing!" Jackson enthuses. "We've worked not only with Bill and Jason, but also Stephen Egerton; he needs props also. All the guys have helped us in different ways. All three of us feel we're better musicians since recording at the Blasting Room; every time we go we learn something new. Recording there is nothing but a plus for us. We love it." You heard it here first, kids.

Having played on several high-profile tours since their inception, and with new guitarist - and recent high-school graduate - Neil Endicott on board as a permanent replacement for the departed Hall(the band enlisted Kevin Hobby as a touring guitarist for their relentless schedule), things are looking very bright indeed. Endicott just turned eighteen years old before the ablum came out, which is exciting for the band. Not only does it add a youthful long future for the guys, but 2003-2004 is Endicott's first real chance to tour. This year is going to be a long year of supporting and pushing ...And We Drive. "Touring is a help in our playing, period," Jackson says firmly. "I mean, we get to practice every single night! I know personally it builds up my drumming chops. Touring makes us tighter and a lot more solid."

...And We Drive hit the shelves everywhere September 16th 2003 - expect big things from Evansville's own Side Walk Slam.