Heroes and Villains
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Heroes and Villains

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF

Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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"Play It By Ear"

Walter Alias
'Examples of the Cataclysmic'
Whenever someone mentions entertainers to come out of Branson, Mo., my thoughts immediately go to Yakov Smirnoff and The Osmonds.
Not quite the prettiest picture.
I was somewhat skeptical when a pretty press kit from a Branson rock band reached my hands.
But I soon read about, and listened to the work of, four individuals that might finally put Branson on the map - at least for those of us under age 60.
Walter Alias' sophomore album "Examples of the Cataclysmic" is a perplexing album that has an even distribution of strengths and weaknesses.
The strengths are glaring. The music that Walter Alias makes is loud, yet smooth. I hear a big Incubus and modern British rock influence with a meandering subtlety that is very satisfying. The actual instrumentals of the album are polished and professional.
Water Alias also immediately establishes itself as a trendy, enigmatic band with song titles like "Amnion" and "Speechless with Continuum."
I don't even know what that means.
But I like it.
The weaknesses, unfortunately, are more than desired. While the music is very well produced and of the highest caliber from a textural sense, it suffers once Ryan Wallace begins to sing. He is a very talented singer, and that is not a comment on the sound of his voice.
I just feel his voice and lyrics hold back the group too much when their music vibrates with the potential of something greater. I really believe Walter Alias could be an instrumental-heavy powerhouse in the vein of Mogwai or Radiohead's more impressionistic work.
Another minor bone to pick is the actual musical construction of the tracks. While they have a lot of layers and a lot going on, I really don't feel there is a satisfying ebb and flow of tone and rhythm.
The first three songs seem to swirl and hover in place, never building to anything substantial and never paying off. Melodies are rare, and songs sometimes feel awkward in their length and timing.
While I am taking a critical stance on Walter Alias, I believe with some tweaking and continued work their sound will develop into something fantastic. However, I was simply surprised by the quality of the album, not pleasantly surprised.
I do recommend you check out their work, because it is some of the best local-ish work I have heard lately.
Grade: B-

jkerfeld@unews.com - UMKC Newspaper


"Top Shows: Heroes and Villains"

http://www.inkkc.com/content/top-shows-heroes-and-villains

Fresh from a stint at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, one local act not to miss is Heroes and Villains, which celebrate the release of their debut EP, Plans in Motion, on Saturday at The Riot Room.

The band has spurred buzz for its sweeping indie-rock sound and the new music video for the EP’s title track, shot by local company Gnarly Enterprises.

Cover includes a copy of the CD. Local bands Thee Water MoccaSins and The Model Congress open the show.

Check out the video for "Plans in Motion."

Read more: http://www.inkkc.com/content/top-shows-heroes-and-villains#ixzz0k3nL02g9
- ink magazine inkkc.com


"HEROES+VILLAINS release NEW EP"

http://www.examiner.com/x-32407-Kansas-City-Indie-Music-Examiner~y2010m3d26-HEROESVILLAINS-release-NEW-EP

Missouri natives, Heroes+Villains, emerge as a refreshing and welcomed buoy of sweeping, polished, sound in the sea of lo-fi, garage rock groups that seem to be flooding the waters of the indie-scene as of late.

Heroes+Villains’ new EP, Plans in Motion, is about fifteen minutes and four songs worth of larger than life, engulfing sound. Frontman, Ryan Wallace, delivers vocals that are full and absolutely earnest while perfectly complimenting Cody Stockton’s standout keys and enhancing the masterful and tight percussion of Jason Smith. While the sound is dreamy, the guys aren’t afraid of guitar riffs and some raucous percussion. Oh and in case you were wondering, the EP boasts actual string parts--cellos, violins, the whole bit-- which only serve to bolster the overall ethereal sound. Think: The Killers, sans eyeliner, meets Travis, but with a bit more edge, and pretend these guys hail from The UK.


While musical tides ebb and flow, it seems as if Heroes+Villans have planted an impressive anchor. They’re on the horizon line, and they’re making waves….beautiful, cascading, electronic-indie-pop waves.

You can catch Heroes+Villains live, for their EP release show, Saturday March 27 at The Riot Room. - examiner.com


"Band Is Thinking Big"

A band that calls its album Examples of the Cataclysmic obviously is thinking big. Walter Alias, a KC transplant from Branson, Missouri, describes its sweeping sound as "cinematic," and it's not hard to imagine the quartet's swelling choruses set against some critical moment in a movie about the apocalypse, or at least an episode of Jericho. This is serious pop-rock, meant to be heard by the masses. Yet, at a time when the masses favor bloated production (thanks, My Chemical Romance and the Killers), Walter Alias chooses ambience over gimmick, which means weaker songs such as "Goodmorning" merely drag rather than succumb to pomp. Lofty song titles such as "Speechless With Continuum" suggest that singer Ryan Wallace is exploring deep themes. Whether the lyrics are personal or political is hard to say, but, more important, Wallace sounds good singing them, especially when he evokes Jeff Buckley on closing track "Where Are You Going?"

www.pitch.com/2007-03-29/music/walter-alias/ - Crystal K. Wiebe, The Pitch


"Battle of the Bands Yields a Surprisingly Delectable Treat"

By Jason Harper

http://www.pitch.com/2005-12-01/music/walterworld/

(Omit)

I eventually broke away from my youthful comrades and walked down to the floor to pay attention to Walter Alias, expecting a band that would call itself something like Walter Alias.

And that, my friends, is when I knew I was going to crap out Moby Dick.

Singer Ryan Wallace was sweating in his quirky white dinner jacket and matching tie, looking distantly over the crowd as he pounded his acoustic guitar and unleashed his clear, intense tenor at some melting horizon. Keyboardist Cody Stockton darted among his immense consoles like he was directing a 747 to its runway, and guitarist Elliot Thurman (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Elijah Wood) and drummer Jason W. Smith pushed every dynamic swell up and over the levee.
The band's sound comes closer to good Britpop — the Verve, the Frames, Elbow — than anything I've heard locally, and that's why it's so welcome. I had to accost each member after the show (which resulted in my helping to cart an amp offstage) and demand to know (a) if they really were from Branson and (b) why they weren't taking the scene by storm.
It turned out that they had just moved to KC and the contest was only their second gig in town, following a debut at the Lucky Brewgrille a week before. - The Pitch


"Band Is Thinking Big"

A band that calls its album Examples of the Cataclysmic obviously is thinking big. Walter Alias, a KC transplant from Branson, Missouri, describes its sweeping sound as "cinematic," and it's not hard to imagine the quartet's swelling choruses set against some critical moment in a movie about the apocalypse, or at least an episode of Jericho. This is serious pop-rock, meant to be heard by the masses. Yet, at a time when the masses favor bloated production (thanks, My Chemical Romance and the Killers), Walter Alias chooses ambience over gimmick, which means weaker songs such as "Goodmorning" merely drag rather than succumb to pomp. Lofty song titles such as "Speechless With Continuum" suggest that singer Ryan Wallace is exploring deep themes. Whether the lyrics are personal or political is hard to say, but, more important, Wallace sounds good singing them, especially when he evokes Jeff Buckley on closing track "Where Are You Going?"

www.pitch.com/2007-03-29/music/walter-alias/ - Crystal K. Wiebe, The Pitch


"Sounds like a major label release"

If you’re not feelin’ the 18th Street Parade (and Lord help you if you aren’t — it’s f***ing awesome), and if you’re in Westport for the big crawl, you might stop by the Beaumont for the Architects, National Fire Theory and Walter Alias. A note on the latter: Walter Alias, is a little-known local band who blew me away at a battle of the bands over a year ago, in the very same venue. Walter has a new CD out, a self-released number that looks and sounds like a major release. I’ve barely had a chance to listen, but I can tell it’s big, serious music that fans of Snow Patrol and Vedera should eat the hell up — it has more of a cinematic, progressive bent to it than those bands, even.

Jason Harper - http://www.pitch.com/blogs/ - The Pitch


"Fans of Grandiose Sounds Rejoice!"

Fans of Muse, Incubus, and grandiose sounds rejoice! Walter Alias, a small indie band hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, is aiming for the big time. Their "Examples of the Cataclysmic" certainly sounds as if it was released by a major label, with thoughtful, even-tempered indie rock. The presence of artists such as Brandon Boyd and Jeff Buckley is certainly present throughout the disc, particularly on tracks like "Reset to Zero" and "Where are you Going." It does drole on a bit, in a somewhat generic rock fashion, yet the attention to detail with regard to mixing saves "Examples of the Cataclysmic" from being destroyed in the apocalypse.

WDUB Radio Blog - WDUB Radio


"Fans of Grandiose Sounds Rejoice!"

Fans of Muse, Incubus, and grandiose sounds rejoice! Walter Alias, a small indie band hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, is aiming for the big time. Their "Examples of the Cataclysmic" certainly sounds as if it was released by a major label, with thoughtful, even-tempered indie rock. The presence of artists such as Brandon Boyd and Jeff Buckley is certainly present throughout the disc, particularly on tracks like "Reset to Zero" and "Where are you Going." It does drole on a bit, in a somewhat generic rock fashion, yet the attention to detail with regard to mixing saves "Examples of the Cataclysmic" from being destroyed in the apocalypse.

WDUB Radio Blog - WDUB Radio


Discography

Plans In Motion EP (2010)
Singles:
Second Thoughts (receiving radio airplay and internet radio streaming)

Plans in Motion (radio airplay on 96.5 The Buzz, Kansas City, and music video)

You Are Not Alone (receiving radio airplay and internet radio streaming)

Other discography:
Examples of the Cataclysmic LP (2007)

Photos

Bio

Heroes and Villains sound is as if Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka produced a modern rock album, with soaring vocals, lush keyboards, and danceable drums. With influences of The Killers, Muse, Mew, Elbow, Imogen Heap, and Secret Machines, it is cinematic rock music that embodies the imaginative and charismatic flow of human emotion.

Heroes and Villains formed in 2005 as Walter Alias, and generated enough attention to be reviewed favorably by Kansas City’s most popular weekly magazine, The Pitch. With critics and fans demanding an album, they chose to record with producer Larry Gann (Elton John, Natalie Merchant, Lit). Their debut album, "Examples of the Cataclysmic", was released in early 2007 to great reviews. Following an independently produced West Coast tour and several headlining festival dates, they continued to add to their healthy stock of fans in the Midwest. "Examples of the Cataclysmic" was promoted in a national college radio campaign with a large response from over 400 radio stations and listeners alike.

Heroes and Villains are currently receiving steady airplay on 96.5 The Buzz in Kansas City with "Second Thoughts" and the live on-air performance of "Plans In Motion".

Heroes and Villains are Jason W. Smith (drums), Cody Stockton (keyboards) and Ryan Wallace (guitar and vocals).