Slick Shoes
Rotation and Frequency


4.5
superb

Review

by decisions USER (10 Reviews)
September 28th, 2020 | 35 replies


Release Date: 09/25/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: I wasn't quite ready for this...

Slick Shoes has a always been a pretty decent band. I really enjoy all their records, and I think most people who are aware of them probably think their relative success in the 90s and early 2000s - while never reaching the stardom that some other punk bands saw during that time - was probably well-deserved.

Maybe part of the reason why they never reached blink-182 levels of success though, is because Slick Shoes always had a little more depth to their sound, especially later in their career. The vocal melodies are just a little too varied, the guitar lines a little too intricate to be able to call them a “pop-punk” band without feeling like you were doing them a bit of a disservice. Some fans, like myself, really latched on to these characteristics of their sound, and that’s why I consider their final pre-breakup album, Far From Nowhere, to be their best record.

Well then, surely a follow-up 17 years later wouldn’t keep going in that same direction, right?

Wrong. I went into Rotation & Frequency with tempered expectations, expecting a fun skate punk record with some nice callbacks to the band’s glory days. What I got instead was one of the best punk albums I’ve heard in recent years. The lineup this time is the same from the fan-favorite Rusty, joined by Jackson Mould from the Far From Nowhere era. Now I’m not sure if I can speak for all Slick Shoes fans, but this is the best lineup I could’ve asked for.

This album builds on everything that Far From Nowhere pointed toward and then some. Mould’s presence is clearly palpable, as the guitar work on this album really takes it to that next level and blew me away. Forget lead lines having some intricacies, this time around the shredding is downright technical, somehow managing to be so without losing any of the punk flavor that is often lost with more complex guitar parts. Seriously, just listen to some the leads here, like the chunky riffage that opens “Carry This”, or the soaring melody in the chorus of “The Worlds Were Mine”. Thankfully the songs don’t slow down either. 17 years later seasoned drummer Joe Nixon blasts out gallop beats as effortlessly as ever, keeping up with Mould nicely.

The vocals here are also great, and like the guitars they just reach that next level in quality that the band’s previous work hinted at. The melodies here feel thoughtfully constructed, and they almost have an ethereal or worshipful quality to them, which at times makes the record feel like a rather unique sort of “gospel skate punk” that works wonderfully.

Ultimately, Rotation & Frequency doesn’t sound like it came from a seemingly dead band that hasn’t put out an album in 17 years, and I feel like I don’t even know where it came from. But one thing’s for sure: Slick Shoes just delivered their best album.



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user ratings (20)
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
decisions
September 28th 2020


755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Tried to keep this one short and sweet, though if it feels too empty I can probably talk more about some of the great moments here.



Deftones wasn't the only band to release a great record on the 25th...

Lucman
September 28th 2020


5149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I remember these guys Will check ASAP. The punk this year has been slacking for me

Lucman
September 28th 2020


5149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Holy moly, now this slams!

Ecnalzen
September 28th 2020


10372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeeeessssss, this got a review!



this makes me happy

Lucman
September 28th 2020


5149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This might rival Jeff for best punk of the year.

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2020


12632 Comments


4.1 average pop punk album

Mighty skeptical of this one, lads...

Digging: Conway - If It Bleeds It Can Be Killed

Ecnalzen
September 28th 2020


10372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It's only 5 ratings, but I will happily take that 4+ avg while it's there!



Give it time to drop below a 4, lol, granted it might not get too many ratings even with a review. This band doesn't get much love here



I actually just upped mine from a 4 to 4 5. I have a huge nostalgic spot for this band, but I legitimately think this is a fantastic comeback and I don't really think I could have wanted anything different from them

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
September 28th 2020


12632 Comments


Oh I know, I'm just messin'. And if it works for you it works, nothing wrong with a good pop punk album. Have never heard of these gents before.

decisions
September 28th 2020


755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

This is not average lol I promise. The guitar work here is stupid good



Glad to see there are others who really enjoy this as well.

Ecnalzen
September 28th 2020


10372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I actually pre ordered this and a shirt without even hearing anything, I was so excited about it



Far From Home was a really important album to me when I was younger (was in 10th or 11th grade when it was released), and when I revisited as an adult, I was amazed at how well it held up, and I grew to appreciate it even more as I kept it in a consistent rotation.



Actually going to go back and listen to/pick up the rest of their stuff really soon. Only had heard from the S/t on and I believe I need to fix that now

SlothcoreSam
September 28th 2020


2975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

One of the better Christian punk bands from back in the day, it was an oversaturated shitty scene.

I was surprised to see a new release, and even more surprised that it didn't suck.

Digging: A Gazillion Angry Mexicans - Stonerpopdoompunk

decisions
September 28th 2020


755 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Held By Hope fucking rips what even is that intro

Ecnalzen
September 29th 2020


10372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Yeah, the guitars are even better here than FFH, actually. There are so many kick ass moments on this



The chorus to 2008 keeps getting stuck in my head

Slex
September 29th 2020


10923 Comments


Bass and guitar here are so good

Lyrics and vox/melodies are so boring tho

SlothcoreSam
September 29th 2020


2975 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They are a Christian pop punk band Slex.

I don't think there has ever been a band in this genre with great lyrics, MxPx has some great hits, but the lyrics were always lame.

Slex
September 29th 2020


10923 Comments


Oh didn't realize haha, gotcha

Will say the chorus for 2008 is awesome at least

gnoma
September 30th 2020


14 Comments


this is is a pretty fantastic comeback out of nowhere

Lucman
September 30th 2020


5149 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, Life In General is really the only Christian punk I have a lot of love for. I'd probs throw Mmhmm in there too, though that has its fair share of cheese. All the big ones like Hawk Nelson, FM Static, Stellar Cart, couldn't care less for really. This is a breath of fresh air though.

ShadowNeko
September 30th 2020


265 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Going on my AOTY list. I adore this record.

Ecnalzen
October 1st 2020


10372 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I dug MxPx pretty hard when I was younger. I don't like them near as much now, but I do occasionally listen to them still



Lyrics either have to be super interesting or really bad for me to generally take notice. Like, I understand what he is singing on here, but I am not really analyzing what the song is about or anything. I am mostly just listening to his melodies, which I think are very good all around



I was just really taking notice of the bass today, actually. There is some really cool stuff going on there. He melds with the guitars quite nicely and does his own thing, too



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