Wild Moccasins

Skin Collision Past

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Skin Collision Past, the debut full-length CD by Houston quintet Wild Moccasins, fulfills the promise of the band's earlier EP, Microscopic Metronomes, filling out the arrangements with a more sophisticated production, but keeping the music's essential appeal. Wild Moccasins are something of a neo-jangle pop group, coming up with light, catchy tunes, their whimsical, poetic lyrics sung in different combinations by the two vocalists, Zahira Gutierrez (also keyboards) and Cody Swann (who wrote the words and plays guitar and keyboards). Add in guitarist Andrew Lee, bassist Nicholas Cody, and drummer John Baldwin, and the sound comes off as a cross between early R.E.M. and Sixpence None the Richer. That's right, Gutierrez has a sweet, pleasant voice reminiscent of Leigh Nash, and if Swann's light, clear tenor is not similar to Michael Stipe, nevertheless the music has much of R.E.M., while the words can be just as pleasingly opaque. After being released initially in 2010, Skin Collision Past was reissued by New West in 2011 as a "deluxe edition," with the six songs from Microscopic Metronomes appended, such that the disc contained all of Wild Moccasins' recorded output up to that point.

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