Side Walk Slam - And We Drive (CD)
- New Factory Sealed
- 2003 Tooth And Nail
2Christian punkers Side Walk Slam include vocalist/guitarist Marcuss Hall, bassist David Curtis, and drummer Matthew Jackson. Influenced by melodic, SoCal-style punk both secular (All, Descendents) and spiritual (MxPx, Ghoti Hook), the group started out as a cover band and quickly began performing Hall's original material. They secured a deal with the defining Christian punk label Tooth & Nail, and issued their debut album, Past Remains, in the summer of 2001. Give Back appeared the next year.
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.