Rates of change. The mathematical tool to describe movement. Positive or negative, it doesn’t matter; nothing stays the same. The vertiginous debut album by Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes can only make me think of calculus.
A frantic disposition to the heavier sentiment of post-hardcore summarises the tracks in their self-titled album. The granite-solid musical foundation allows Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes to jump, soar and fly back through nine songs that although smooth, keep a hard ’round the edges approach. It’s a well-sharpened knife, this one.
Even the more peaceful moments, like ‘Under the Texas Sun’, carry a sense of urgency. They could fool you into thinking this will be a quiet, introspective song, but no, it’s waiting to explode just like Michael Douglas in Falling Down. ‘Turning Gears’ embodies the maniacal vocals of Frodus with the attitude of Hum, never being too distorted but knowing to keep a distance. Beware the splash area, for many an eardrum exploded here.
If pressed to choose one track, I’d probably go for ‘#B’. It encompasses Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes penchant for sonic avalanches, while still being calm enough to let you relish into the madness of it all. It’s not all up to guitars and vocals in this one; drumrolls increase anxiety while bass licks keep the energy flowing when required.
I hear this promo as I drive in the barrierless roads of California. The winding road, with one side blocked by a cliff and the other a free drop into the ocean, requires your full attention. I bob my head as I hear the album again, sandwiched on my iPod between Mazzy Star and Dead Boys. Somehow, that place feels right, just so right. And the I step on the accelerator and leave all behind, the wind howling from time to time, the road twisting to keep me on my toes.
Words: Sam J. Valdés López.