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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Slick Shoes (Mega Post & Full Discography)

Slick Shoes are close to release new music since almost 15 years! Well, here I share a mega post with all their stuff and all info I know about the band. Enjoy it!

👉 The beginning

Slick Shoes is a poppy skatepunk band from Antelope Valley, California formed in late 1994 from the ashes of the local band Today's Special, reuniting guitarist Jackson Mould with drummer Joe Nixon. Over the next year, the duo worked at writing songs before recruiting bassist Jeremiah Brown. Jackson initially assumed vocal duties, 
until they met Ryan, who was Jackson's girlfriend's little brother. With the addition of then 14-year-old frontman Ryan Kepke, the Slick Shoes line up was complete, and within two weeks, the band signed to the Tooth & Nail label to issue their self-titled 1997 debut EP. Their line-up suffered many changes through the years, so let's give it a deep view...

👉 Line-up evolution (names are from left to right on each pic)

1997 Line-up:

Joe Nixon (21) - Drums
Ryan Kepke (14) - Vocals
Jackson Mould (20) - Guitar
Jeremiah Brown (19) - Bass

 1998-1999 Line-up:

Jeremiah Brown - Bass
Joe Nixon - Drums
Jackson Mould - Guitar
Ryan Kepke - Vocals
Dale Yob - Guitar

1999 Line-up:

Greg Togawa - Guitar
Joe Nixon - Drums
Ryan Kepke - Vocals
Dale Yob - Guitar
Jeremiah Brown - Bass

2000-2002 Line-up:

Jeremiah Brown - Bass
Joe Nixon - Drums
Greg Togawa - Guitar
Ryan Kepke - Vocals

2003-2004 Line-up:

Kevin Clark - Bass
Joe Nixon - Drums
Ryan Kepke - Vocals
David Stoltenberg - Guitar
Jonah Peterson - Guitar

2015-Present Line-up:

Jackson Mould (41) - Guitar
Ryan Kepke (35) - Vocals
Joe Nixon (42) - Drums
Jeremiah Brown (40) - Bass
*Jonah Peterson - Extra Guitar (at some shows)
*Jordan Mould - Extra Guitar (at some shows)

👉 All releases, all presses and nerdery

Demo Tape #1 (199x)

As you've noticed, they were called "Slik Shoes" before "Slick Shoes".
Slik Shoes was a three-piece band in 1995-1996, so Jackson is the main singer on those recordings.

I don't know the exact release date and which songs are on this demo. Maybe early versions of "Silence" and "I Guess"?...

Demo Tape #2 (1996)
This 2nd demo has 3 songs with Jackson still on vocals: "
Five O Grind", "My So Called Real World" and "151". Supposedly, they showed that demo to Tooth & Nail Records and they signed them up to record their first self-titled EP.

Slick Shoes EP (January 21th, 1997)
First 4-song EP with Ryan on vocals and their very first release on Tooth & Nail Records. All their following full-length albums (except Far From Nowhere) were released on Tooth & Nail.
This mini-album was pressed on 7" blue vinyl (some clearer, some  darker), 7" black vinyl and CD.

Rusty (June 17th, 1997)
Rusty was their debut full-length. 16 songs of pure gold in my opinion. Much people compare it with "MxPx - Life In General" for their "super fast/poppy" sound. I also think that Rusty has a big influence from Life In General but with an unique-cool touch.
This album was pressed on 12" Coke bottle clear vinyl, 12" black vinyl, CD and cassette.
There's also a promo version, where "Fall" song is called "I Suck".
Burn Out (July 7th, 1998)
Burn Out followed the same line of Rusty, but with a very more "mature/melancholic" sound, which I love. 1997-1998 were the best Slick Shoes era, in my opinion. Jackson was/is a genius on guitar.
This record was released only on CD and cassette.
There's also a promo version, which differences to the original one, because it has all songs names printed on the CD.

Wake Up Screaming (May 20th, 2000)
Wake Up Screaming has a "slower/more melodic" sound than their previous releases, but really catchy songs.
Since this album, all their following records were edited only on CD.
There are two presses with color variations. First press: CDs have red stamp. Second press: CDs have light-blue stamp.
Also exists a two-song sampler cassette with the singles "Angel" and "Have I Said Too Much?".

Split w/ Cooter (May 23th, 2000)

This 4/4-song split was their only release on Fueled By Ramen.
There are two presses with text variations. First press: it says "Slick Shoes & Cooter" on front cover. Second press: it just changed the name "Cooter" to "Autopilot Off".

Slick Shoes (April 9th, 2002)
In this record, the band shows us a "well-defined/solid" pop punk style. My favorite from Greg Togawa era.
There are two CD versions of it. Tooth & Nail digipack version, and a Japanese version on jewel case with OBI strip (no bonus track on that edition). There's also a promo version, with a picture of the band as front cover, and also a one-song CD of "Alone" single.
Far From Nowhere (July 8th, 2003)
I think Slick Shoes became bigger with this release. Really good one, but very different than all previous stuff. Only two former members on it (Ryan and Joe).

There are two CD editions of it. SideOneDummy Records edition, and a Japanese edition of Bullion Records with OBI strip, which includes a bonus cover of Dramarama's song "Anything Anything (I'll Give You)" and a small sticker of band's logo.

The Biggest & The Best (November 18th, 2003)
This one is a compilation album of Slick Shoes discography. The three first tracks "Pretend To Be The Same", "Ruled Out" and "Spleen Puncher" are unreleased songs. This "best of" does not include any Far From Nowhere song on it.
Only one CD press was published through Tooth & Nail Records.
That's all about official releases.

👉 More singles, covers and

"151" song, which originally appears on 1996 Demo Tape #2 was re-recorded  for 2002 s/t album.
"I Guess" song, which originally appears on 1997 s/t EP was re-recorded in a slower version for Wake Up Screaming album.
song, which originally appears on 1997 s/t EP has an alternate version which appears as hidden track behind "Learn To Unlearn", the last song of Burn Out album.
The song "Clenched Fists, Black Eyes", track 11 of 
Burn Out album is a 7 Seconds cover.
"Hope Against Hope" song, which originally appears on their split w/ Cooter was re-recorded  for Far From Nowhere album.
They recorded a cover of Mandy Moore's song "Candy" which is the track 02 of "Punk Goes Pop" compilation released on April 3th, 2002 via Fearless Records.
The song "Once Again" has a demo version which is the track 08 of "Atticus ...Dragging The Lake.II" compilation released on March 17th, 2003 via SideOneDummy Records.
On August 28th, 2004, they shared a random track called "Blackout" which was on streaming via PureVolume and MySpace.

In a 1999's interview Jeremiah said: "We're doing a split EP with Joy Electric in which they cover some of our songs and we cover a couple of their songs. We're also recording The Cure's "Close To Me," and Metallica's "Battery". We're also covering a Keith Green song".

I researched about it and discovered that Joy Electric is an electropop/synthpop band from CA active since 1994. I'm pretty sure that split was cancelled and those covers never saw the light either.

In 1999 Jackson Mould left the band. He was already married with Kelly Kepke (Ryan's big sister). Jackson argued that he just wanted to pursue family life, be a husband and work, because he had a pretty good job. Shortly after, the band met Greg Togawa at a local show, and he became in Jackson's replacement.

By the way, Joe Nixon was also married with Harmony Mould (Jackson's sister).

On January 15th, 2004, Slick Shoes announced on their webpage that bassist Kevin Clark and drummer Joe Nixon have been removed from the band: "Some members felt they didn’t want to continue working to become what we know. Slick Shoes has the potential to be and other members we decided just didn’t fit with us. There are no hard feelings held for any of the past members of Slick Shoes... that’s just the way it happens sometimes. We wish Kevin and Joe the best of luck with whatever projects they decide to pursue next".

The band replaced them with Josh Kleven on bass and Bill Lanz on drums. Never saw a picture or some live footage with that line-up.

On October 7th, 2006 the band issued a statement through their MySpace page saying that they had begun a side project called Sigmund, and that Slick Shoes was on an "indefinite hiatus".
Sigmund was more into a "post hardcore/indie/
alternative" genre. They only had a 6-song self-titled EP while they were active. You can download it right here.

Finally, I'd say that Slick Shoes made a trade mark of their style. I really think that without Rusty or Burn Out, bands such as Sick Of Change, Greenroom or Broken Cedars never would've sounded so good. I hope they keep on influencing new waves of skatepunk bands forever!

All ripped in MP3 V0 format from my orginal CDs. You find it just here on Screaming Fastcore.
P.S. If anyone owns a physical copy or has more info about demo tapes, please contact me. Thanks!
- Mario.