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Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes

todayApril 24, 2015 8

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Andrew Nogay

Web Content Contributor

Carl Sagan's Skate Shoes EP cover.
Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes “Demoage” cover. From their bandcamp.

Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes are one of the premier bands playing at this year’s MR Fest. I saw them last fall when they opened for the almighty Whirr, and they killed it. They’re one of the most exciting punk bands currently going in Austin, mostly because they don’t confine themselves within punk.

On their debut EP Demoage, they are a two-piece that rushes through many different sounds with precision. They switch between grunge, shoegaze and noise stylings in just four songs, never losing their integrity. It all sounds organic. The first song, “Hot Shoes,” is like sewer-sprouted slacker angst canned in a song. It’s easily the meanest song off the EP. The next song, “Under the Continental Divide,” changes the formula completely, eschewing yelling for a floating kind of vocals that wouldn’t be out of place on a Sonic Youth record. The third song, “Stumble,” is more post-punk than the first two, and it does a great job of building to a satisfying conclusion. “Smoke,” the last song of the EP, brings back the anger of the first song while keeping the dream-like qualities of the other two. In just four songs covering about 15 minutes, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes mustered up one of the better releases from the Austin punk scene in recent years, varying their styles before the point of becoming inconsistent. The best part of it might be the potential about it; a band willing to experiment with different genres, and make it work, is exciting.

Since they released their EP, Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes has added a bassist, and according to their facebook they’ve been working on new songs. Their newer stuff sounds tougher and grungier, but that might be a result of it being recorded live. Historically many post-punk bands sound harder live than they do in studio, and Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes bring it live. The question with them is whether they’ll continue being a post-punk band or change their sound. Carl Sagan’s Skate Shoes have only been around since 2013, so they’re still in the primordial stages of being a band. They’ve already garnered local acclaim, and there’s no reason to think they won’t get more in the future.

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