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Scouts is a fairly new indie-rock band from Columbia, MO whose music blends the influences of shoe-gazer bands like My Bloody Valentine with the indie-rock sounds of bands like Miracle Legion and Let's Active.

Scouts released their debut EP "I'm Sick, I'm Well" last Summer which earned a strong review from PopMatters. The band spent a good portion of 2008 touring around the Mid-West with acts like Taking Back Sunday and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin and are now going back into the studio to record their follow-up disc, which is entitled "Kids & Ghosts".

There are a number of tracks from "I'm Sick, I'm Well" streaming on Scout's MySpace Page along with a couple of demos. - Brooklyn Rocks

"Scouting The Scene"

Local indie-rock quintet Scouts is a band best described in numbers. Members with “real” jobs: five. The number wearing skinny jeans: two. With histories as Eagle Scouts: two. Sporting nose rings: one. Members with the will to stay in Columbia: zero.

Like many Midwestern bands, Part I of Scouts’ story began in a college town. Two years ago in Columbia, the original members teamed up to form Scouts Have Left the Reservation but eventually shortened the name to Scouts. Today, the ambitious but charming band is a vital part of a community that it doesn’t really belong to.

“I’ve always been under the impression that if I’m going to be in a band, I’m going to tour,” guitarist Sam Hunt says. “I’m going to see the country.”

That brings us to Part II. Scouts appear the perfect portrait of a typical local band until you notice that it’s painted in the bold strokes of larger-than-life ambitions. The band has been waiting for keyboardist/guitarist Chase Clettenberg’s graduation from MU in May to tackle more formidable tours than its jaunt through Texas during spring break. Coupled with the release of the group’s first full-length album in August, the new freedom to migrate should crush the last barrier between Scouts and getting the heck out of Columbia.

Some of the members’ favorites, such as The Get Up Kids, hail from Kansas City, which might have an influence on the band’s sound. Although the guys joke that they sound like a mix between Fergie and Jesus, it’s hard to miss the Missouri roots in Scouts’ alternative rock style that shines on smaller stages like Mojo’s as it will Friday. “Scouts is one of the most talented bands I’ve seen in a long time, especially in Columbia,” says Jesse Garcia, manager of Sapphire Lounge. “They brought back to life a scene that was dying. As a venue owner, I give them a year to a year and a half to hit national markets.”

“They’re into the music, not just the idea,” Eagle Scouts guitarist Robert Varner says of Scouts. He has played with the group in previous performances. In offhand conversations, Hunt and Clettenberg operate somewhere beside the point and often get stuck there, but that changes when the focus is the future. For Scouts, Part III is the easy part: After two years spent living and rocking in and out of Columbia, the consensus is that it’s time to move on.

“For us, there are two complete extremes,” Clettenberg says of the band’s career options — put simply, success or failure. “We could leave in August and come back in three weeks — done. Or, I could never have a real job in my life. There’s so much uncertainty between those two.” - Vox Magazine

"Sleeping Lessons"

On Tour With Scouts and Let Lions
When one thinks of Columbia, MO, music is not the first thing to come to mind. In fact, to this Illinois music lover, Missouri doesn’t seem to be the place to find musical satisfaction at all. Fortunately for Missouri, and myself, I was pleasantly surprised to find a budding cornucopia of talent hidden in the small towns filling the midwestern state.
At a small hookah bar and music venue in Lake Villa, IL I came across the joys of the Missouri bands Scouts and Let Lions. My first introduction with the musicians came from bassist Jawnny Hankely of Scouts, who said Hello and suggested I stay to see his band play that night, just as I was walking into the entrance of the venue. Right off the bat I was interested, which goes to prove the point I’m constantly trying to make to musicians coming through the Jstreet studio: Self Promotion is key. Little did I know then that such behavior was a staple for these bands. The effort went along with the tour these two bands had been on was full of dropping fliers at local malls, chatting up show goers and shamelessly pushing merch.
With my initial curiosity sparked I made sure I had a good spot as Scouts set up and was anything but disappointed. A band with a remarkably soothing sound, amicable and light, topped with the energy and unabashed joy in their performance, I was hooked two minutes into the first song.
Once again based on the urging of Jawnny Hankley, I got into position to listen to their friends and tourmates, Let Lions. Another band from Columbia, MO, but with a very different sound compared to that of Scouts. For a moment I was shocked at the difference between the two, having already made the assumption that since they were touring together that they might at least be from the same vein of sound, but I was immediately distracted from that thought as their show kicked off.
Let Lions proves to hold a similarity to Scouts, not in sound, but definitely in energy. Vocalist Johnathon McDowell took the stage by storm, pacing and climbing on top of amps as he gave his all to the microphone. His fellow musicians have a similar intensity for the music their playing, though each portrays it very differently. Differences of hardcore and indie aside both these bands sucked me in at that initial performance. I was itching to get my hands on a copy of their EP’s as soon as the set ended, and once introduced, couldn’t stop complimenting both bands.
On top of being immensely talented musicians, the members of Scouts and Let Lions hold an extremely affable and easy going persona, and as a person of experience when it comes to talking to bands, I can say that they have their musically inclined heads on perfectly straight. The right combination of humility and confidence made both these bands ones I couldn’t wait to set up an interview with and work towards promoting. Now having all this knowledge I can’t imagine one being surprised at all at my excitement when I was invited to finish the remainder of their tour with them and sell merch.
Having had the tour experience before, I knew what I was getting into. However, my expertise on the Missouri music scene at the time went no further than remembering high school choir trips to Branson, MO for vocal concerts and workshops. While I’m told I didn’t experience what some of Missouri’s cities had to offer to its fullest extent, I still have gathered sense of respect and interest in the Missouri scene.
With shows mostly around the Kansas City area, and in the bands hometown of Columbia, I experienced a fair share of small and quaint venues. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the Missouri local music scene is thriving, but it definitely has a lot more growth than I anticipated. One of my favorite parts of this tour was my discovery of a Kansas City band, called Snake Eater, who shared the same hard edge as Let Lions, and accompanied the tour for two Missouri shows. The first show with the three bands on the bill was in Concordia, MO, a town outside the Blue Springs/Kansas City area, at a small venue dubbed “The Hanger”. While at first unimpressive, the Hanger offered a decent space, decorative lighting, and better sound than I had anticipated upon entering it. There was a fair sized crowd at the show, which was impressive because as a frequent show go-er here in Lake County, I know that the support for local music has significantly dwindled. A line outside of a venue is a big deal anywhere.
Throughout this entire tour, both bands proved that the right attitude, hard work, and yes, just a smidge of talent can push you over the edge. I expect great things for all the musicians I met, and if you’re ever in Columbia area, be sure to be on the look out for a line show-goers; it just might be the show to re-instill your faith that local music is alive. - S. Gordon

"J street"

I’m Sick, I’m Well- Scouts
By: Samantha Gordon

An ambient, light sound makes up the seven tracks informing its listener, “I’m Sick, I’m well”-the so titled EP from Columbia, MO musicians Scouts [scoutsmusic. com]. The album contains a transcending transition of songs, each somehow holding a certain quality of comfort for the listener. The combined efforts of voice and instruments offer a sound that is enveloping, enchanting, and easy to fall into.
Fans of Andy Hull might recognize a familiar angelic tone when first exposed to the vocals of singer Chris Thomas, but naysayers of copy cats be assured, this front man comes with a sound of all his own. Recorded Thomas has a soft quality that you don’t normally find beyond a live show or “unplugged” cd, and in the flesh his voice offers a pleasantly haunting sound, what I imagine the whisper of some sort of spirit to be like. Behind Thomas’ hushed vocals come the perfect blend of instruments- your staple guitar and bass, combined with keys and just the right amount of drums. While the keyboard can be a little bit of the needle in the haystack to hear underneath everything else, the fusion of all others involved couldn’t be better done. Drummer Corey Schmidt is light on his kit, with generous amounts of cymbal, which is exactly what needs to be done to accompany such a voice as Thomas’.
With a sound that is subdued but at the same time full of certain energy, what listeners can’t get from this album is the get-up-and-go attitude that comes along with a Scouts performance. Guitarist Mark Penechar, and new Scouts addition Jawnny Hankley on bass have an aesthetic range of constant motion in their performances full of leaps and kicks, not at all obnoxious in the classic rock star definition of the actions, but full of excitement and what can only be described as pure joy. Combining that with the bared teeth and grin of Corey Schmidt on drums, and the way keyboardist Chase Clettenberg throws his body into what he’s playing, anyone at a Scouts show has reason enough to watch from front and center.
There’s a sense of kinship and brotherhood between these musicians that make their performance absolutely hypnotic. The chorus of “whoa-oh’s” featured in Fight Night at the Ocean House, as well as the shouting of “I’m sick, I’m well” all together in the thusly titled song, is a perfect example of the collaboration that’s gone into this bands music.
Lyrically Scouts is a prime example of ‘less is more’. Teeming with short, simple sentences, every line still has certain deliberateness to it. There’s a common theme within the songs, the lyrics seeming to be addressing a dying person and possibly then their ghost. Songs full of questions and conclusions being drawn, every song on this album is chock full of quotable lines that I think most listeners will walk away with playing over in their heads. One popular song among fans of Scouts in particular is Whiskey Echo Lima Lima and its line “Mercy, where have you gone? We are all dead! 
We are all right though.” A line shouted by the entire band during live performances.
All together this band is impressive to say the least. Be it their quality of sound, integrity as musicians, or the passion in their performances, there are a thousand things to rave about. All the compliments in the world can’t justify the talent found between these gentlemen, and the very best advice to anyone who hasn’t given them a shot is to do just that. So if you’re ever in Columbia, or hell, even on the Internet, drop by and pay visit to Scouts. Hospitable and completely legitimate, they’re sure to impress.

- JstreetRadio Zine


I'm Sick, I'm Well - Scouts
By: Aarik Danielsen

Bulletin boards in college towns are littered with the remnants of concerts past and the promise of shows to come. Amidst all the cover bands, frat-boy rock and itinerant national acts, a few bands will separate themselves from the pack, defining the scene and, in some ways, the town itself. In the intimate, autumnal community of Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, Scouts is one of those bands. The five-piece blends the influence of shoegaze icons My Bloody Valentine, credibility of indie darlings Pedro the Lion and melodic purity of Clarity-era Jimmy Eat World. Although the band’s sensibilities are authentically Midwestern, the potential for a broader appeal is evident on this seven-track EP.

At its best, I’m Sick, I’m Well is achingly beautiful; Scouts have embraced the notion that splendor can be produced through sorrow and that healing requires wounds. Two minutes of thick, lush atmospheric guitar ("10 Kilometers Past the Signal Fire") introduce the album before the fog clears, making way for the bright, moderate indie-rock shuffle of “For All My Warm Blood Has Run Out.” While each track spotlights an element of the band’s talent, the album’s two best cuts are truly memorable. “Fight Night at the Ocean House” opens with dark, colorful piano tones before building to an evocative guitar coda. The best is saved for last with “Whiskey Echo Lima Lima;” the tune opens with sparse guitar and vocals that suggest an explosive finish. By the time vocalist Chris Thomas leads a haunting choir through the powerful refrain “Mercy, where have you gone? / We are all dead! / We are all right, though,” the payoff is clear. These are songs which rattle the brain and spirit for days, proposing the staying power of Scouts lies in their unique ability to unsettle the heart and then mend it. - Pop Matters (


I'm Sick, I'm Well E.P. (July 2008/Self-Released)

Kids & Ghosts LP (To be released Fall 2009)



Indie Pop/Rock band Scouts found its humble beginnings in the intimate, autumnal college town of Columbia, Missouri. Immediately separating themselves from the pack, Scouts, revived a part of the music scene that was on the brink of extinction. The 2.5 years the quintet spent in Columbia brought about a changing cast and a game musical chairs with roles in the band, but Scouts emerged all the stronger. The Spring of 2009 brought on a move to Kansas City and welcomed return home for Hunt, Schmidt, and Thomas. Now with a solid footing and the current rise of the Kites & Cycles Collective founded by C. Thomas, these musicians hope to bring Kansas City's music scene into the limelight.

Scouts has spent the last year on the road and sharing stages with such names as:

Appleseed Cast (The Militia Group)
Taking Back Sunday (Warner Bros.)
Giants (Cavity)
One for the Team (The Militia Group)
Now, Now Every Children
Envy on the Coast (Photo Finish)
Eagle Scout (Cavity)
Unwed Sailor (Burnt Toast)
An Horse (Mom & Pop)
O' Brother (Favorite Gentlemen)
All Get Out (Favorite Gentlemen)