Wild Moccasins
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Wild Moccasins

Houston, Texas, United States | INDIE

Houston, Texas, United States | INDIE
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Wild Moccasins are from Houston, TX and will probably be playing a super fun clandestine house show that will change your life sometime during the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin this year. Just listening to the album I imagine a giant group of friends who hang from rafters and give big group hugs and shout and chant in unison as a demonstration of their love of life. One of the few problems I have with the album is that I hate disco beats. Sorry...but I do. I hate 'em. If whoever is reading this review considers their self the type of person that likes disco beats in rock bands then you're pretty much good to go. Other than that it seems like the whole album is bubbling over with fun and energy. It's fun pop music and it's perhaps almost in the same league as the Netherfriends or perhaps Arrah and the Ferns. Maybe. Though I'm more inclined to think their sound will have matured, polished, developed....whatever...in a few years they'll be unstoppable. For now they feel like they're young and having fun. And I tend to think that's the point of music about half the time, is having fun. My favorite aspect about the recordings is how extremely busy they are. Guitar solos are often laid atop a female vocalist singing one melody while a male vocalist follows his own melody as well. It perhaps borders testing the listener's patience as nearly every song is over four minutes long, but, I suppose it begs the question, can you really have too much of a good thing? You can decide for yourself I suppose.

-Barry Moore

http://www.indierockreviews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=893&Itemid=101 - Barry Moore


http://www.youaintnopicasso.com/2010/02/05/mp3-wild-moccasins-fruit-tea-2/

So that Happy Hollows contest yielded a lot of great band suggestions. The first is A band I seem to have missed out on last year. Luckily Wild Moccasins will be hitting up SXSW this year, so it’s still not too late for me (or you!) to get into them.

MP3: Wild Moccasins – Fruit Tea
If you were to hand over a Lucksmiths tape to some really hyped up 18-year-olds who had previously been listening to Ponytail, this might be the song they wind up singing. It’s wickedly energetic, but also seems to drift along on a sunbeam.

- Matt Jordan


http://madefromplastic.blogspot.com/2009/06/wild-moccasins.html


The summer is officially here and Jingle Jangle pop never sounds better than it does during the days of sunshine. Cue Wild Moccasins, probably one of the bands Made from Plastic are most excited about with their feel good indie pop, that just oozes fun. Having just dropped their Microscopic Metronomes EP, which is absolutely brilliant and jam packed with sweet melodies and lovely choruses, Wild Moccasins are one to watch out for over the festival season.
- Made From Plastic


http://idolator.com/5244402/wild-moccasins-break-in-their-touring-shoes

listening station
Wild Moccasins Break In Their Touring Shoes
Houston band Wild Moccasins will be playing two shows in Brooklyn this weekend: Friday at Death By Audio and Saturday at Union Hall. I wrote a feature about them last summer in relation to local music scenes, and it seems that a year later they’ve shed the cocoon and are flying like beautiful butterflies across the East Coast and Midwest. A few samplings of what the show might be like after the jump.

When I last saw them (in December) they’d improved their live show considerably, so I’m guessing they’re even better by now. I’m a connoisseur of all things that are pleasant to do while drinking a beer, and I can assure you that seeing Wild Moccasins is near the top of the list. They’ve got a ragtag, toe-tapping sound and and an infectious ebullience that makes you wonder why all things in life can’t be so genuinely cheerful.
- Kate Richardson


http://www.thecultureofme.com/culture/2009/05/emerging-wild-moccasins.html

There's a feeling you get when listening to the quintet of 20-somethings from Houston called Wild Moccasins--a mix of freedom, unbreakable spirit and terribly reckless, that's so undeniable and effervescent, you can't help but wonder how it even exists in the present tense. It's almost like an Easter egg, a red herring that you have to squint to understand. But it's there. The kids are young, fresh-faced and rife with explosively subtle, fun-as-hell songs that incite riotous feelings, copious sweat and nevereverending smiles. It's the sort of thing we remember like it was yesterday: driving in our car (a 1988 Dodge Colt affectionately known as the "bronze bomber") with friends, popping in tape after tape with "you gotta hear this" and "what do you think of so and so?"s all around. It's all harmony and hope and teenage heat and, seriously, is the sort of music that no one--no one--could ever not feel.

The band dropped their EP, Microscopic Metronomes, a while back and have some tour dates lined up in its support.

Dates:

Jun 11 Houston, TX Mango's
Jun 12 Lafayette, LA Atmosphere
Jun 13 Mobile, AL Alabama Music Box
Jun 14 Tampa, FL Transitions Art Gallery
Jun 15 Athens, GA Flicker
Jun 16 Atlanta, GA WonderRoot
Jun 17 Charlotte, NC Ping! Island
Jun 19 Brooklyn, NY Death By Audio
Jun 20 Brooklyn, NY Union Hall
Jun 21 Philadelphia, PA Dock Street Brewery
Jun 23 Cleveland, OH Kitsch Inn
Jun 24 Newport, KY Southgate House
Jun 25 Rock Island, IL Theo's Java Club
Jun 27 Kansas City, MO The Brick
Jun 28 Lawrence, KS Eighth St. Taproom
Jun 29 Norman, OK Universe City
Jun 30 Austin, TX Emo's - The Culture Of Me


http://www.thefrontloader.com/2009/05/01/download-new-wild-moccasins-single-fruit-tea/

Texas quintet Wild Moccasins were introduced to me via email as “the best band you’ve never heard”. I was, of course, intrigued, opened up the email, and clicked on the link to their bio first thing. The band is described as a group of 20 somethings with “a sound that balances a musical guile beyond the band’s years with a vibrant energy that flaunts its youth.”

Having a combination of male-female vocals, the band is now a year old and recently showcased at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin. Band members Cody Swann and Zahira Gutierrez, a couple, started writing songs about two years into their relationship, and eventually fellow musicians Andrew Ortiz, Nicholas Cody, and Andrew Lee joined the band to round out their sound.

Check out the latest single, “Fruit Tea” off their Microscopic Metronomes EP below the Dig-It section. It’s definitely a catchy song with that “vibrant energy” they are described as possessing.

Free Press Houston summed things up by saying, “Only a jaded fool would not seek to be caught up in the joyful world of Microscopic Metronomes”… from what I hear so far, joyful is a great word to describe their sound.

The band is getting ready to head out on tour this month, making stops on the East coast and in the Midwest… For more music, show dates, and a look at what others are saying about the band and their new EP, stop by the Wild Mocassins MySpace page. - Swapmeet Louie


http://obscuresound.com/?p=2928

There are some noticeable trends among the music that is sent to me via snail mail. More often than not, my suspicion is raised if a particular artist adorns their submission envelope with glittery excess. I listen to everything that comes my way eventually, so anything outside of the actual album is looked at for informational purposes and little else. Many of these groups appear to spend more time decorating the envelope than working on the album inside of it, thinking for some reason that I will enjoy something mediocre if it is more colorful or sparkling. There has been numerous times where I have felt guilty for throwing out an envelope or press kit that clearly shows at least a half-hour of artsy work, but I am a college student so I do not have the apartment space to let these works of art pile up. When I saw this expressive envelope from Wild Moccasins inside my mailbox, I applied the same rash generalization that a showy envelope does not usually contain something worthwhile inside. After all, why would there be a need to further grab my attention if the music inside the envelope can do that on its own? As the Houston-based Wild Moccasins tend to show, the excitability and youthfulness that emits from their amusing artwork proves indicative of the electrifying energy present in their music, telling me an ample amount about the band before I even knew their name.

This envelope from Wild Moccasins included a moose with a sword in his mouth and some googly-eyed monster with a feather protruding out of his back, causing me to half-expect their music to be a mixture of chivalric odes and woodsy folk. Judging by their implied artistic efforts though, their highly melodic infusion of indie-rock and power-pop seems to be wiser and more depictive of their youthful intentions to acquire recognition. This can tend to backfire on many artists with deep pockets or unwarranted ambition, but by showing that one truly cares about the validity of their submission by playing “arts and crafts” on an envelope did well for Wild Moccasins in this case. They have no apparent PR sponsor and are personalizing these submissions on their own, so immediately I was aware of their DIY intentions. This was especially when I started to play their debut release, Microscopic Metronomes. My expectations were low when I put this one in, but after giving this a thorough listen I find myself thoroughly impressed by this young five-piece from Houston. Their style – a clever mixture of ‘90s alt-rock with conventional power-pop – is by no means innovative, but the plethora of hooks derived from their excellent songwriting does the group more than enough justice.

wmoc2

Wild Moccasins are perhaps best known in their native Texas for their uncanny ability to sell-out live shows. Sure, if you are talking about a popular Texas-based band like Spoon then it is no big deal, but for a local group with no major label or releases to speak to consistently accomplish such a feat is worth mentioning. The mere release of their EP, Microscopic Metronomes, actually resulted in some significant Houston press that noted how they are one of the few local acts that have no trouble selling out a show or staging a release party. Considering that their style is not the most innovative in the world and no component of their instrumentation is a technical breakthrough, the explanation behind their passionate fanbase can be found in the one aspect of Wild Moccasins that is most prevalent: their energy. The passion for music that all five members emit both in the studio and on the stage is one to marvel at, as is accessibly shown on Microscopic Metronomes. The five lead tracks on the EP serve as four-minute bursts of energy, never wasting a moment or toying with generic ideas. The result is something that should bring them recognition beyond the borders of Texas, especially since their interpretation of indie-rock is along the same lines as a very successful group in The New Pornographers.

Making comparisons to The New Pornographers is relatively easy for this one. The comparative approach for this specific group is somewhat generic since they borrowed so much from power-pop and indie-rock (two genres that many contemporary rock groups are reliant on), but Wild Moccasins do more than just match the summery indie-pop melodies and male-female duets. Like The New Pornographers, they recognize that hooks often establish whether or not music within their genre is successful. As a result, the five tracks on Microscopic Metronomes do not waste time in subtly convincing listeners to sing the respective efforts while in the shower, at work, or any other places where music cannot usually reach one’s ears. The New Pornographers have always made great use of Neko Case’s vocals and the country-ish twang that goes along with it, matching her vocals with content that is depictive of her ardent vocal delivery. Wild Moccasins do the same with Zahira Gutierrez, a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who makes her presence best known on the infectious “Spanish and Jazz.” She initially croons with a quiver that is depictive of country and folk, aided by the twangy progression of a quickly paced guitar. The steady percussion also establishes this vein of country and folk, so its role is vital in guiding the transition between this tinge of folk and the explosive indie-rock presented in the chorus. Again, this track and the others on Microscopic Metronomes will not win over listeners based on intricacies or innovations, but instead on great songwriting, youthful energy, and polished instrumentation.

While they certainly have room to grow in their stylistic and instrumental approach, Wild Moccasins undoubtedly have an astute grasp of melody. This is present on the aforementioned “Spanish and Jazz” in arguably the best form on the EP. Regardless, it would be a crime to overlook “My Favorite Die.” This effort initially sounds like a campfire sing-a-long, using a couple of diverse vocals over the chirping sound of crickets and the sole strumming of an acoustic guitar. Like the bridge on “Spanish and Jazz” though, the transition into more expansive territory becomes noticeable after the song’s introduction. Power-pop and indie-rock guide this track to infectious heights, led by a very fun chorus that finds lead vocalists Gutierrez and Cody Swann singing, “Da-da-dum, ba-da-da-dum-dum-dum,” over the flurry of guitars. I never thought that baby-talk could resonate so deeply. After the first few choruses, when lead vocalist Cody Swann picks up the angst in his voice over the simplistically beautiful harmonizing of Gutierrez, I can’t help but be reminded of the Pixies in addition to the indie-pop allure of The New Pornographers. The effectiveness of this duet style is also present on “Fruit Tea,” which could be reminiscent of Weezer if they were more receptive to using female vocalists during their heyday in the ‘90s. If a young band like Wild Moccasins can distinctively remind listeners of greats like these, they should certainly have no issues attaining a massive fanbase that extends outside of their native Houston. This EP is simply too promising for fans of power-pop not to take notice. - Mike Mineo


http://www.austinsound.net/2009/04/21/wild-moccasins-microscopic-metronomes-sr/

Hardly any move is more fraught with musical danger than the one I’ve recently made from Austin to Houston. Wild Moccasins are really my first dip into the local scene, which I know more as the birthplace of robo trip hop. I’ve elsewhere mentioned in passing what I call the “pure pop,” and the this popular quintet’s clean-scrubbed little debut EP Microscopic Metronomes provides a nice opportunity to elucidate. In using this term, I don’t mean to suggest any specific relationship to pop art, most closely associated in this country with Andy Warhol and his coterie, but it is a useful comparison. The dramatic tension in pop art centers on the uncertainty over whether the artist does or does not intend to fully participate in the mass consumer culture s/he is either basking in or subjecting to the harshest kind of ironic criticism, or somehow in some kind of negative capability-ish way doing both. But the pure pop does away with this tension, replacing it with a deceptively simple aesthetics of a relaxed, lounging (as opposed to Dionysianly destructive) hedonsim. I say “deceptively” because of how unbelievably hard it is to write a good pure pop song, and also because of the analogous dramatic tension that arises in the best pure pop between sonic pleasure and what you slowly grow to suspect might be deeper meaning, and I suppose that to my mind Crowded House is the greatest example of pure pop music.

Microscopic Metronomes makes its decided home in this camp. One of the first signs that you’ve passed into the country of pure pop is a reversion to pre-lingual sounds, instead of words, and, indeed, track one, “my favorites die” (I’ll stick with the convention of their psychedelic CD sleeve, although this isn’t really psychedelic music, of using lowercase letters–one hardly ever knows whether this kind of typographic deformation is significant, but I think it’s best not to take chances) opens with “la da da”’s and “da da dum”’s before launching into a skillful almost tour de force nearly a capella display of enjambment, probably my favorite poetic device: “it’s a curious thing / to get caught / in the act / and I’m afraid / you’re in the ant farm / not the hill / the bigger picture / never will / strike you / as appealing.” The enjambed “act / and” is particularly deft, as the sound tricks the listener into hearing the single word “action,” a rhetorical trick as yet unnamed, as far as I know, but whose most famous example is surely Robert Earl Keen’s “Feelin’ Good Again”: “and when I caught your eye / saw you break into a grin,” which fools the listener into hearing the stretched out homophone twice: “eye / I.” Very neat.

As can be guessed from the title, after “my favorites die” bursts to life with its characteristic bright jangle-pop strumming, the complex tension of the pure pop emerges: “life’s a tragedy / you sing to me of / romantic treason / and now it’s run away from you / and you’ve been out of reasons”; “and I’m afraid / your mouth’s become the Achilles heel / don’t try to reinvent the wheel / it’s only you that you’re cheating”; and, most powerfully, the chorus: “tell me why / my favorites die / I want to sleep / instead of die.” This is the difference between the pure pop and what is often called “bubble-gum pop,” the depth of consideration given to banal subjects like love and death, sung here by Cody Swann, who seems to be the frontman, but one of the best things about Wild Moccasins is their sparing female harmonies, too, one Zahira Gutierrez, a great name for an artist. She plays a supporting role on “my favorites die,” but it’s close to a 50-50 vocals deal between them. She takes the lead role, for example, on track two, “spanish and jazz,” a great choice for the second track, for while it is sonically complementary to “my favorites die” it nevertheless sounds very different. The bright cheery intro to track one is replaced by the same tambourine and a few languorously distorted guitar chords before Gutierrez dives right in: “I heard the news / I heard the news / you got some soul / you got some soul / let it out / let it out.” The bass is actually playing skillful counterpoint melody for a while here, rather than straight rhythm. The subtleties are just right, too; what was “you got some soul” in the first verse becomes “you had some soul” in the second, a wonderfully incisive invocation of the passage of time.

This band also has a great sense for how to let a song rise and fall on its own. “spanish and jazz,” for instance, opens with more than a hint of wistful melancholy, but after the first verse a clicking guitar segues into an almost redemptive chorus, full of delicate hi-hat (the percussion is always surprising, a mark of great drumming to me). This quality marks much of the rest of the album as well, especially when Swann and Gutierrez are singing together, as on the final track six, “Shiny Strings,” which moves smoothly between Swann’s laments (“How many styles of string can you find, girl? / If I asked your favorite would you mind, girl? / I’ve just seen so many, so many of your kind, girl / with your material eyes / you just want to wrap your thighs / around something shiny and torn”) and a kind of speed folk punctuated by Gutierrez’ background emo vocalizing.

The six tracks (five, really, the third, “Zzzzzzz” is just 31 seconds of yawns and strings) on this EP come in at 23:18. - B.D. Fischer


http://woxy.com/blog/2009/07/01/lounge-act-recap-wild-moccasins/

This young band from Houston caught our attention with their excellent debut EP Microscopic Metronomes.

Originally formed as a folk duo of Cody Swann and Zahira Guiterrez, the band expanded into a 5-piece and their songs evolved from their earliest arrangements into delightfully catchy sing-along pop that has earned them nominations for Best New Act and Best Indie Rock Band at the Houston Press Music Awards.

In this performance, they play 3 songs from their debut EP and also share 2 brand new unreleased cuts with us. - Matt Shiv


http://www.qromag.com/reviews/concert_reviews/wild_moccasins/

Upon first seeing Wild Moccasins, it’s easy to focus on exactly how young they both look & sound. None of them seem to come even close to six feet in height (plus the two shortest are the two at the front, singer/guitarist Cody Swann & singer/keyboardist Zahira Gutierrez – and they’re a couple! How cute…), and despite there being five of them, they didn’t fill up the cramped ‘stage’ at the Union Hall’s basement venue (QRO venue review) on Saturday, June 20th. And their music has an alt-poppy pep and spark that could make a college kid feel old. They’re kind of everything you don’t expect from Houston, Texas. But the band wisely doesn’t play against that grain, rather with it and building upon it, for a fun evening.

Playing dates they set up themselves across the eastern United States (earning just enough to pay for gas along the way), Wild Moccasins had their second night in Brooklyn, at Park Slope’s Union Hall. Opening for the alt-country The Loom & Cotton Jones wasn’t a perfect fit, and the crowd wasn’t too thick, but the band didn’t let that dampen their spirits. And what spirits they have, with energy to spare (but not overdone) on opener “LNTV”. But that’s not all they are, as the following “Spanish and Jazz” brought a nice sway & change, with Gutierrez taking lead vocals.

Wild Moccasins playing "Calendar" live at Union Hall in Brooklyn, NY on June 20th, 2009:



Though “Spanish” is on their self-released EP, Microscopic Metronomes, the record actually hews mostly to the peppier sound of non-record “LNTV”. However, the band has grown since putting Microscopic out, to the point where they only played two tracks from the record at Union Hall. “Calendar” nicely combined the sway of “Spanish” with some higher, sweeter pop, but the following “Cake” was a little too similar, and the otherwise nice song was marred by too many tempo changes.

But the band did bring it back with their best three pieces, to close things out. First was the bigger fun of “Psychic”, a clear stand out, but then the band threw in a new number at the last minute (so new, so last minute, it wasn’t on the set list – QRO photo), which was a little darker, even a little more – dare one say it? – mature. The ‘big finish’ saw them return to Microscopic with “Fruit Tea”, the EP’s own stand out track, which was a great ender with outsized, catchy fun.

Wild Moccasins playing "Fruit Tea" live at Union Hall in Brooklyn, NY on June 20th, 2009:



Yes, Wild Moccasins look like they might not be tall enough for some rides down at Coney Island (if there were any rides left there…). Yes, you might be surprised that the 21+ Union Hall let them in (though you don’t have to be of drinking age, if you’re in the band – Union Hall even still gives ‘em the sweet pog-like drink tickets), despite Swann’s ‘stache. Yes, they make Ra Ra Riot (QRO spotlight on) or friends of theirs (& The Q) Harlem Shakes (QRO spotlight on) look old – Gutierrez, in particular, is almost like Ra Ra Riot’s Alexandra Lawn’s (QRO interview) younger sister (okay, not as stunning as Lawn – QRO photos – but really, who is?…). And yes, their sound isn’t some grizzled Texan, but fresh and new alt-pop. But it’s so sweet, and they’re so sweet, who cares about age? - Ted Chase


Discography

New West Records Reissuing:
Skin Collision Past / CD & LP
-2011
Microscopic Metronomes
-2009

Photos

Bio

With a collection of songs that web male-female vocals of couple Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann, as well as pop-infused percussion and string work, Wild Moccasins, a quintet of 20-somethings from Houston, TX, offer a sound that balances a musical guile beyond the bands years.
Wild Moccasins are perhaps best known in their native Texas for their uncanny ability to sell-out live shows. The mere release of their EP, Microscopic Metronomes & then Full Length, Skin Collision Past, actually resulted in some significant amount of press noting how they are one of the few local acts that have no trouble selling out a show.
The explanation behind their passionate fan base can be found in the one aspect of Wild Moccasins that is most prevalent: their energy. The passion for music that all five members emit both in the studio and on the stage is one to marvel at.

Band Members