Tripp Algiers
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Tripp Algiers


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Tripp Algiers @ The Blue Fugue

Columbia, Missouri, USA

Columbia, Missouri, USA

Tripp Algiers @ The Studio Downtown

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Tripp Algiers @ Koruption

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

Kansas City, Missouri, USA

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



I like local Indie / Rock / Soul group Tripp Algiers because their music has a certain honesty to it that you don't find from most bands in the beginning stage of discovering their own unique sound.

Also, from what I've heard, the group is pretty intense in their live performances and that definitely comes through on their tracks.

The group's members include:

Matthew Silvers - Guitar, Accordian, Vocals
Benjamin Wachter - Guitar, Keys, Vocals
Willis Blinzler - Bass, Vocals
Drew Burasco - Drums

Surprisingly one of those dudes is a semi-regular reader of TKC and thankfully agreed to let me host their tune Corporate's Ladder on this blog.

The song is pretty damn good and kind of a protest number without "insisting upon itself" as most of the songs in that genre so often do. NOTE: TKC likes writing like a music critic, it makes my judgmental and smug statements seem that much more authoritative.

Anyway, I like the song and if you want to hear more, be sure the check out the Myspace page of Tripp Algiers. OR better yet, go to one of their many local shows.

For the record, the debut release from Tripp Algiers entitled "Old City Crows" is slated October 5, 2007 on BeatOven Records.

Furthermore, if you show up to one of their local gigs there is a distinct possibility that a few liberal chicks (known for having bad judgment) might be in the audience. In the right light (and with the help of 5-6 PBR's) hippie chicks with vintage eye wear and those weird ass Guatemalan hats can be beautiful.

Rock on. -

It’s hard to accurately describe the Tripp Algiers debut, Old City Crows, now out on BeatOven Records. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as one might infer. In their bio, the band describes themselves as a “unique blend of rock, jazz, and alternative music”. While being apt and mostly accurate, it doesn’t fully encompass the range of influences contained within their first album. Styles as disparate as prog, emo, and even soul are also fit to explain the conglomeration of sound that is Tripp Algiers.
The most obvious strength of the band is their varied song-writing and vocal abilities. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the band has three different singers; Matthew Silvers, Matthew Blinzler and Benjamin Wachter all have lead vocals at some point. All three singers are talented in their own right; each is capable of emoting and selling their interesting turns of phrase without sounding as if they’re trying too hard. The structures of the songs are different enough to keep a listener interested, but similar enough to form a cohesive album.
Direct comparisons, while easy to make (a progressive leaning version of local heroes Reflector?), don’t really do the band justice. Nevertheless, I found myself thinking of a more lo-fi and less jammy version of Umphrey’s McGee while listening to Old City Crows. Both bands are steeped in the musical traditions of the last twenty plus years, but end up coming out as something totally modern and hard to explain. Both groups also rely on multiple singers and songwriters to compliment the other’s strengths and shortcomings.
Album opener “Jagged Reef” feels almost like two different songs between the transitions from verse to chorus. The song begins with a proggy bass line, moves into a dreamy and jazzy verse then suddenly veers into a chorus comparable to early At the Drive-In complete with aggressive chords, fast drum fills and vocalist Matthew Silvers’ yelps of enthusiasm. “Jagged Reef” works well as an introduction to not only the band’s core sound, but also the way they structure compositions and the focus of their lyrics. At over five minutes, the song is a little lengthy for its own good. But if you appreciate the band’s weaving of social commentary and odd song structures all in the same track, you’re going to enjoy most, if not all of this release.
Track two, “Autumn Drive Through Countryside”, is in fact one of the most effective and moving of the nine songs. A driving chord progression and a bouncy bass line combined with singer Matthew Blinzler’s thoughtful ruminations and Jim James-style vocals are entirely memorable. Lines like “She always loved those country boys/Teasing their curls” are evocative without being obvious. Once again we’re treated to a chorus that sounds quite a bit different from the verse when most of the thrust of the song falls out, save for Blinzer, some backing vocals and sparse drumming. The return to the primal movement of the song is effective, peppered by Blinzer’s emphatic exclamations as the song rises to an odd, but endearing harmonica solo.
The dissonant and strangely titled “Man: Wolf: Life: Cat” feels like an outtake from a Lou Barlow session, and seems out of place next to most of the other songs. The next track, “Corporate’s Ladder” returns to an aggro-chord progression that culminates into a strange but powerful guitar solo. In large part though, the song succeeds on sheer energy and the force of singer Silvers’ delivery of lines like “We’ll kill those in our way” and “Let’s destroy what we love”. Other highlights on Old City Crows include the simple and sweet acoustic “The System” and Latin-flavored closer “Dos Cantos”.
If all this sounds a little disjointed, it’s because, at times, it is. The casual listener probably won’t get much out of the album. However, those with patience will be rewarded upon multiple listens, as they begin to appreciate the odd turns that each song takes. Ultimately, that’s what should be expected from any fan of quality art. Although lazy corporations and fans are content to bask in the mind numbing state of current popular music (“Ay bay bay”), bands like Tripp Algiers will continue to set a more challenging course. It they work on refining their sound, this band will be a recognizable force on the local scene for years to come.

By Sean Malone - Sean Malone

Sometimes a band’s press materials can be so awkwardly written that it’s off-putting. The basic gist can be gleaned from what they are trying to say, but it’s painful to read. Case in point:

In the course of one year, Tripp Algiers has become known as one of Kansas City's most original rock bands. Listeners and fans of the band have fallen short in describing the quartet's unique blend of rock, jazz, and alternative music. With their debut album, Old City Crows, released in October, Tripp Algiers have created a strong voice both in lyrics and composition. Utilizing their three vocalists, each song of the album has definition and purpose. A listen to Old City Crows is a journey through the joy and pain of life. Social messages are given with such poetry that the listener is drawn into the band's independent worldview. Tripp Algiers does not look to follow the trends. They look to create their own story.

Fortunately, Tripp Algiers does sound different from other bands in Kansas City’s music scene. The tracks on Old City Crows are interesting enough to ignore the prepackaged description and focus on the music rather than pick apart the stilted writing above. Here’s the skinny on Tripp Algiers, who formed in Bolivar, Missouri, made the rounds in Springfield, and moved to Kansas City to make a name for themselves. Tripp Algiers is Matthew Silvers (guitar, accordian, vocals), Benjamin Wachter (guitar, keys, vocals), Willis Blinzler (bass, vocals), and Drew Burasco (drums).

Released in October 2007 on local indie label Beat Oven Records, the debut album kicks off with “Jagged Reef,” bending a wiry guitar riff laced with a psychedelic edge. The vocals are a little buried in the mix so the lyrics can be hard to pick up, but the music does draw the listener in. “Autumn Drive Through the Countryside” is a more conventional rock tune with crisp guitar rippling outward, clearing room for the lead singer to belt the words out. With multiple vocalists, it’s hard to tell who sings what unless observing the band as it performs live. The song has a bright pop feel with a shrill accordion notes sprinkled in to add bite.

“Man:Wolf:Life:Cat” is a herky-jerky, tabloid-worthy romp about a man turned monstrous killer on the loose, leaving a trail of dead as authorities race to stop the rampage. Factory worker Jones came home one day, he shot his old woman and then he ran away. Notch one up for Tripp Algiers. So far, these songs do song distinct from each other and offer enough narrative to keep tuned in.

The band turns up the aggressive guitar posturing on “Corporate Ladder,” a Ted Nugent meets Red Hot Chili Peppers freakout rocker. Close the office door, tune up the air guitar, and wail along about cash cows. Next, the band turns soft and gauzy with “Empty Glasses;” it is mellow and melodic at first, then it haunts like Hendrix on a night of loss and mourning.

As if to prove a point with their versatility, they deliver “The System” as an off-kilter ballad steeped in accordion, strumming guitars, tempo shifts, and vocal arrangements that try a bit too hard. Maybe try less clutter and let the music breathe in spots. Encourage the strongest singer to take the lead instead of flooding the mics with muddled backing vocals.

The last and longest of nine tunes, “Dos Cantos,” tops six minutes and takes on a Latin feel with whispery vocals. Again, the lead singer’s voice seems to flounder in the mix. The poetic imagery evoked in this tale relents to the guitar’s bluesy undercurrent and simmering rhythm that drives the song.

With three vocalists, the band has room to craft songs where each singer’s style can rise to the surface. Old City Crows succeeds to a degree where other bands fail when attempting to produce such disparate sounds within the space of an album. Sometimes, pop songs are so polished and over-produced that they become stray pearls. They never string together, but instead are appreciated as individual gems spawned from an album where lesser tracks are discarded and forgotten. Or, the songs are so experimental and flawed that they retain little value, individually or collectively.

On Old City Crows, Tripp Algiers waxes poetic, dares to take chances with lively arrangements, and serves up compositions worth multiple listens. The band experiments and invests each song with character, some more fully realized than others. As a whole, the album is inviting enough to warm up to favorites and cohesive enough to let the rest stand the test of time.

Tripp Algiers can afford to skip the clichés and pronouncements in the clunky summary of who they are, what they sound like, and what they try to do. Forget the independent world view and the bit about bucking trends. Discerning listeners can distinguish between a band’s authenticity and aping some other act easily enough.

Let the music speak. Ultimately, great songs tell their own story without hype or fluff.

-------------------- - Pete Dulin

UMKC's UNews:
Some of the CDs I get in the mail boggle the mind.

They are often hard to define or explain rationally. "Harptallica" was a doozy; parodist Richard Cheese was cheesy.

Sometimes a CD comes along that makes you happy to write about music.

"Old City Crows" by Kansas City's own Tripp Algiers is one such album.

Unlike the sour apples previously mentioned, "Old City Crows" is a great album that will be an exercise in describing the indescribable. Usually, bands are easily tied to a genre or comparisons are drawn to other groups.

I tried coming up with a list of comparisons, but trashed it after coming up with more than 30 bands and singers.

Tripp Algiers is the only band I can think of that mixes elements of every genre under the sun without the variety coming across as unnecessary or unfocused. Rock, jazz, psychadelia and general alternative music are all fair game.

"Old City Crows" is self-consciously ambitious, but it is consistently solid and contains intense passion often vacant from other acts.

The album opens with misleading, simple bass notes. "Jagged Reef" soon chugs to life like refreshed batteries in an old toy that toggles between a trance-like psychadelic sound and sporadic bursts of alternative rock.

"Irish Pub Song" immediately asserts this band doesn't stick around in one song too long. This track has an identity of alternative blues, jazz and soul that works with its laid back attitude and propulsive rock charges.

"The System" is the last song of note, and it starts on a simple guitar chord and snapping fingers before turning into an overwrought sea ballad with sustained accordions and enthusiastic harmonies. The end of the song spirals into repeated harmonic couplets that swirl and echo out to punctuate an excellent song.

Plenty of ink can be spilled on the other interesting songs on this collection, but it would be better to snatch the album and check it out for yourself. If you have little patience, Algiers' various vocalists and styles will keep your attention.

If you're not interested, there's always Britney's new album. As a homegrown act here in Kansas City, they are a feel-good story of this fall's local music scene and you owe it to yourself to support and encourage talented local work.

Tripp Algiers' album can be purchased on iTunes and the band can be visited online at - Jordan Kerfeld


Demonstrative - EP, released in June 2007, found on Itunes or heard on

Old City Crows - First album, released October 2007, "Empty Glasses" heard on 96.5 The Buzz (Kansas City)



In 2006, Tripp Algiers was formed. Any other rumours are unfounded and will be denied. The Kansas City alternative rock band respect their influential elders, but deny their own musical family. Ben is known for his spastic behaviour, Willis is known by all those math wizards, Matthew is known for keeping his cool, and Drew was around when t-shirts were invented (he exhumes cool). Together, these four gentlemen created an album called Old City Crows, which has already received critical acclaim. They can play all of their own songs, and love to entertain.