Wild Moccasins: Skin Collision Past

Houston, Texas’ Wild Moccasins have made their careers making indie pop featuring sweet male/female harmonies. Their third release and first full-length album, Skin Collision Past seems to be their breakout effort with a myriad of press being given to the release.
It is not hard to hear why people might like Wild Moccasins. All the comparisons that leaped to my mind while listening to Skin Collision Past are serious blogosphere stars. The vocal melody of the album’s closer “Zylophone” reminds me of Vampire Weekend‘s “Walcott”. “Late Night Television” has the same energy as The Pains of Being Pure at Heart.
Despite those comparisons, something just does not excite me about Wild Moccasins’ debut full-length. I think “Skin Collision Past”, the album’s opening track and first single, really embodies my problem with the album pretty well. The track starts off with a guitar strumming that reminds me of A Flock of Seagulls before a slowed down disco drum beat kicks in. The male/female vocal harmonies, that are the band’s signature, give the song a dreamy feel. But while the drum beat has some sort of urgency to it, the vocals are too lackadaisical.
The only song that really seems to get everything right is “It’s Health & My Own”. The track features energetic R.E.M.-esque guitar arpeggios over a standard indie-pop dance drum beat. Male vocalist, Cody Swann carries most of the vocal weight while female vocalist, Zahira Gutierrez only really adds accents and backing vocals. This works much better than splitting lead vocal duties like on much of the rest of the album.
I have seen the press the band is getting so I know people are enjoying this album, I just do not. There are very few bands I can think of that do the two lead vocalist dynamic well and I think Wild Moccasins are not one of them. I think the group is talented, but Skin Collision Past just is not my cup of tea.
Rating: 4.7/10
MP3: Wild Moccasins “It’s Health & My Own”
Buy: iTunes

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