The Wild Moccasins

 The Wild Moccasins

Late, late, late on this one, as always. The Wild Moccasins have been steadily been making a name for themselves for quite a while now, and they just keep getting better and better as they go. Right from the start, they’ve had this ultra-sweet cheeriness about them, a vibe that’s endearing as hell, honestly — they were (and still are, really) just a bunch of kids out to play music they love, have fun, and maybe see the world.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they play vapid, pointless indie-pop; not by a long shot. It’s just that the shiny-clean, melodic, insanely catchy pop they play is bright and sunny and pure-sounding as the morning dew. The Moccasins are sneaky, though, downright devious, and underneath those seemingly simple, easy, insistent pop melodies are some extremely thoughtful songs — the band’s songcraft gets better each time I see/hear ’em, and it’s an awesome thing to witness.

The focus is usually on singers Cody Swann and Zahira Gutierrez, which makes sense given that the pair’s boy/girl vocals are right up there in the front, bouncing and swooping over the music; they make me think (in the best possible way) of Mates of State or 1997, both by virtue of their unaffected sweetness and the call-and-response style they tend to use. The rest of the band, though — John Baldwin on drums, Nick Cody on bass, and Andrew Lee on guitar — is equally impressive, nonchalantly blazing through track after track of candy-coated jangle-pop that pulls together everything from Papas Fritas to Tullycraft to Belle and Sebastian.

The band’s got two releases out so far, 2009’s Microscopic Metronomes EP and 2010’s first full-length, Skin Collision Past, the latter of which was re-released on a much larger scale by New West Records in the spring of 2011. Now that they’ve signed to New West, too, they’ve supposedly got a new album on the way, so I’ve got my fingers crossed on that front…

I’m happy to see that they’ve been touring quite a bit outside of the H-town environs, by the way, including at least one jaunt on over to Europe(!). Each time they head out, the Mocs come back tighter and tighter; here’s hoping they keep it up.

Band writeup by . Band writeup posted Tuesday, May 8th, 2012. Filed under Features, Interviews.

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