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Top 100 Tooth & Nail Albums of All Time

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#44. Side Walk Slam
Past Remains

Release Date: August 11, 2001
It's going to be really hard to talk about this record without talking about myself. So why fight it! (David, Matt, and Marcuss: I apologize in advance)

Mt. Vernon, Illinois is where it all began. A living room with no PA, just drums, guitar, and bass cabs, less than a dozen friends, and a handful of MxPx covers. That was the spark. We didn't realize the journey we were on. I recall the day before David Curtis telling me in his Carmi, Illinois home that he should tell Matt Jackson and Marcuss Hall to bring their instruments to what I believe was a party at Matt's girlfriend (now wife) Sarah's house. They started playing songs and we sang along. Nostalgia tells me that it was one of the best concerts I've ever been to, but in reality, it was probably pretty rough. But that didn't stop them. Blank was born! (Yes, Side Walk Slam was called Blank for like two or three shows before settling on Side Walk Slam). What was probably a rough first "practice" sparked a polished, hardworking, energetic trio that would soon raise the bar to all that witnessed them. I literally picked up a guitar and bass a week after this August party jam session in 1998. They sparked so much. In my travels with Ravenhill, I have been lucky enough to meet those we grew up looking up to. When I mention southern Illinois, they almost always mention the fact that they would be surprised on how much talent was in that area. I believe that Side Walk Slam is one of, if not the main reason for that. You see, when they started a band, speaking my personal perspective, I realized, "I can start a band, too!" When they recorded their songs that they wrote, I realized, "I can record, too!" When they played Cornerstone Festival and got signed to Tooth & Nail, I realized that it was all possible. They blazed the trail for a ton of great bands in southern Illinois.

When Past Remains released, I remember thinking that there has never been a record like this before. Although at the same time, I may have been biased and naive, I think to a lot of us, it was groundbreaking. You take everything you love about pop punk and it's in Past Remains. It's raw and energetic but it's honest and full of heart. The local anthem was "Eve," a song that instantly started a circle pit in whatever church basement or barn we could set up a show in. It mixes fast punk with a chorus that cuts the time in half so we can all sing about Adam and Eve's famous dilemma accompanied by some "whoas." They instinctively wrote songs that bridged the gap between pop and punk. They moved and inspired me and all the teenagers in the midwest. They showed us that we could, so we did. I'd argue that Side Walk Slam may be one of the best at wearing the pop punk label and Past Remains is the beginning of that three-album journey. Enjoy!
        - Joshua Clifton of the band Ravenhill

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  • Top 100 Tooth & Nail Albums of All Time

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