Pressing play on Nude Shoes’ debut EP Suburban Ceremonies feels like stepping back in time. It’s pop-punk in the vein of Dive-Thru Records, overlapping less with contemporaries than with older bands like Allister or even No Use for a Name. It ends up, as a result, feeling a good deal fresher than much of what the genre produces these days.
Don’t misunderstand; Nude Shoes are certainly not revitalizing the genre or changing the game. But what they’re doing is playing pop-punk in a way that separates them from the pack. Much of this is due to Andy Katz’s voice alone, which has an unpolished quality – not unlike Vinnie Caruana’s during his time in The Movielife – that differentiates him from many of the other, cleaner-sounding singers in the genre.
That doesn’t mean Nude Shoes can’t be catchy; indeed, Katz has a knack for crafting memorable hooks, and opener “Couple’s Jenga” is immediate proof of that. For a pop-punk band, that’s half the battle, and Nude Shoes have got that on lock. Honestly, it’s hard to know how much else Nude Shoes are capable of, since Suburban Ceremonies is only four songs and barely even 12 minutes. Still, it’s going to be exciting as hell to find out.