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Skin Collision Past
LP (12" album, 33 rpm)
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Skin Collision Past (Deluxe Edition)
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Vinyl, July 5, 2011
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''The Wild Moccasins may be known for being ''cute'' with their playful onstage antics, baby faces and dreamy lyrics, but there's nothing cutesy or juvenile about this indie-pop band's first full-length album, Skin Collision Past, which features nine brief but captivating tracks. The beloved Houston band doesn't hold back in experimenting with sounds and persona, often lending a mellower feel to Skin Collision Past as compared to its catchy, bubbly EP, Microscopic Metronomes. The growth of the band in musical precision, performance quality and personal growth resonates in Skin Collision Past; even singers Zahira Gutierrez and Cody Swann's voices have grown and matured. This is not to say that the Wild Moccasins are straying from what we know them as - poppy and fun. ''Late Night Television'' is one of the standouts on the album, as it echoes the spirit of the EP with catchy lyrics and swift beats. The overall effect of Swann's songwriting contributes an intriguing sense of contemplative tranquility that contrasts with the shimmering guitars and fast-paced drumming heard throughout the album. Filled with detail, thought and confidence, Skin Collision Past reiterates the old saying: Hard work and dedication pay off.'' - Julie Rene Tran / Daily Texan Tracklisting1 Skin Collision Past 2 Cake 3 Its Health & My Own 4 Late Night Television 5 Psychic China 6 Born Blonde 7 Calendar 8 Chapter Four 9 Zylophone
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The band functions cohesively, and this solid interaction between bassist, drummer, and guitarists makes the songs much more memorable. That isn't to say the vocals don't deserve attention. One of Wild Moccasins' signatures is the vocal inter-play between Swann and Gutierrez. While Swann sounds like any number of New Wave-era male vocalists (in a good way), Gutierrez's voice is lodged somewhere between The B-52's' Kate Pierson and Bjork, and she reins it in on Skin Collision Past, choosing to complement rather than overshadow the vocal arrangements.
Lyrically, the songs range from ruminations on relationships (the captivating "Chapter Four") and psychotherapy ("Psychic China") to teenage diary entries ("Born Blonde"), and thankfully Wild Moccasins are secure enough to throw in some subtle humor (sample lyric: "I am what I eat, so I'll try to make a man out of me"). Skin Collision Past's finest moments come on "Chapter Four," the opening title track-which showcases the duo's wordplay in a surprisingly catchy way-and "Its Health & My Own," a catchy Britpop-inspired gem.
No other band in the Houston area sounds like Wild Moccasins, and the band's danceable and poppy songs have captured some well-deserved local and national attention. Skin Collision Past will undoubtedly increase this visibility.