By opening this story, I’d like to state forthright that I fully support the inclusion of more Anglophilic bands in the Kansas City music scene. There could never be a shortage of them, and the last one I can really think of that may have been remotely Brit pop in their influence is long defunct Lawrence garage rockers Conner (who were admittedly channeling Guided by Voices more than anything), though you could surmise that Soft Reeds draw from the well of Roxy Music as much as any other band in the metro.
I generally focus my reports on downloads of albums that are available at a price of less than $5, but I’ll make an exception for this one. Thee Water MoccaSins have been steadily building up their name for well over a year now by playing ’80s-centric rock that focuses on more of a Pale Saints or Boo Radleys caliber of British rock than Pulp or The Smiths. How weird it is, then, that the members in this band have mostly all been active in recorded music since the sounds of the predecessors have been in existence, and that the band has just now surfaced as a viable output for those involved in the creation of the project. In the era when underground indie music was dominated by My Bloody Valentine, Swervedriver and Slowdive, founding member Steve Tulipana was still a kid, fronting the aggressive noise rock band Season to Risk, and making quite a name for himself in the process.
Rounding out the lineup is current S2R member Billy Smith (also of the Tulipana co-fronted Roman Numerals), John Bersuch of Minds Under Cover and Bacon Shoe (and the sadly out of print Dandercroft magazine), and Wade Williamson of Olympic Size. The quartet create an enormous sound that establishes itself as a contender for any best-of KC music ballot that will exist by the end of this year before the listener even reaches the end of the first listen of their debut album, From the Rivers of Missouri and the Banks of Fear. Throw in some underlying and possibly unintentional Tom Waits themes, and we have an eight-track album I would defy anyone to find uninteresting.
The band has decided to forgo the use of Kickstarter, and is currently offering their album as an $8 digital download, with the intention of every cent of the proceeds going toward a vinyl release of the album. Those who purchase the download need not worry about paying twice, though, as it looks like the price paid for the download will be considered something of a down payment on the final product to be released in the next few months. You can stream the album as much as you want here, or if you want to support your local bands, suck it up and throw down the money to help one of the best albums of the year get memorialized on a dead format.