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Kansas City, Missouri, United States | SELF

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


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



"Scouts and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are homeward bound"

NOVEMBER 4, 2011 | 5:39 P.M. CST

Scouts leader singer and guitarist Chris Thomas and Phil Dickey of Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin have more than a few things in common. Both grew up listening to Get Up Kids. Both cut their teeth in the lovely Midwest. Now, both are key members of quartets who have taken the same pop sound and made it their own.
In the music industry, Dickey’s band, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, would be the cool, hip older brother to Thomas’ band, Scouts, the adoring younger brother. SSLYBY originated in Springfield and Scouts is based in Kansas City, but both bands have managed to transcend their roots while staying true to their Midwestern sound.
When Scouts and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin come together at Mojo’s Nov. 5, it will not be difficult to feel the brotherly love. Although musically similar, the bands have their differences, too. SSLYBY has been around for more than ten years. But Scouts didn’t hit the scene until 2008, and in the three years since then, the band has already had a taste of what those in the music business refer to as the downside of creative differences, which resulted in three of the original band members leaving the group.
Those creative differences gave birth to the new era of Scouts, characterized by less piano and less indie pop, says Thomas. Now the band consists of singer/guitarist Thomas, bassist Justin Olson, guitarist Mark Penechar and drummer Drew Van Horn. The band has maintained some semblance of its original catchy, melodic sound, but with the addition of more guitarists, Thomas says they’ve become “a lot louder.”
Scouts is the opening act for SSLYBY’s Tape Club tour. Released in October, Tape Club is a 26-song album composed of the best songs left off SSLYBY albums from the past decade.
“What happened was, we always think it’s a good idea to have ten songs on an album, it’s a nice even number,” Dickey explains. “We’ve done that three times, but there would be extra songs. We’d put the album out and our friends would say, ‘Why wasn’t that song on there?’ And we were like, ‘Oh, we didn’t know anyone liked it.”
Dickey also says he’s always been impressed with Scouts’ live performances and energy and that the band will be a tough act to follow.
“I just hope we can match them because when I saw them, their set was really intense,” Dickey said. “I’ve seen touring bands that will have a bad opener so it makes them look even better, but that is not the case with this; it’s the opposite.”
Thomas describes the Midwest music scene as one of camaraderie. “Columbia’s music scene formed me more than any other place, even more than touring,” says Thomas. “Touring polishes you, but Columbia is my home. We always start and finish tours in Columbia because it’s the best show we have.” - VOX MAGAZINE

"On tour with Scouts & 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. - Reviewsic - Sam Gordon

"Scouts: I'm Sick, I'm Well"

Scouts: I'm Sick, I'm Well
By Aarik Danielsen 1 December 2008
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 that the staying power of Scouts lies in their unique ability to unsettle the heart and then mend it. -

"I'm Sick, I'm Well - Scouts"

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. 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. - Reviewsic - Sam Gordon


I'm Sick, I'm Well EP (2008)
Snares EP (2009)



Scouts is a quartet from Kansas City, Missouri that made a name for themselves in the region from 2007 - late 2009. After two rigorous national and multiple regional supporting tours Scouts found themselves being courted by a few labels and agencies in early 2009. In the Spring of ‘09 the band relocated to Kansas City from the buzzing college town of Columbia, MO and began pre-production/ recording demos. Later that summer the band eventually split due to touring restraints posed by some members, financial struggles, and the ever growing cliche; creative differences. The 2 years the band existed seemed to be a game of musical chairs around the two remaining founding members, namely, Singer/Guitarist Chris Thomas. The two years that lapsed between reincarnations of the band Scouts was anything but a hiatus for Thomas who rekindled the flame with original Scouts’ bassist Justin Olson, and later, guitarist Mark Penechar; as a band called Giant Radio. The trio immediately began writing and in 2010 set out on two Southern tours, but were unable to tie down a solid member in the drummer department. As Giant Radio began losing traction on a downward slope the name Scouts and it’s past triumphs began being tossed around between the three. It was only when Drew Van Horn took the reigns on drums did the quartet decide to revive the name Scouts. In September 2011, the band played it’s “revival” show to a sold out crowd in Columbia, MO; which served as a huge reinforcement of their decision. The quartet has strayed a bit from the chimmey crescendos and epic choruses it was once known for in the region, yet there is no way for Thomas to escape the melodic purity and ghostly shimmer of his voice. These four musicians hold true to their Midwestern roots and dialect, but show a promise of appeal beyond the streets of small Midwestern cities and dismal college towns. Their music as been said to have the strength of Shoegaze icons My Bloody Valentine, the lyrical credibility of Pedro the Lion/David Bazan, and the melodic purity of ‘Clarity era’ Jimmy Eat World.


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