Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Reflector Recess Theory Split 7" Arise Records 1998
In Spite Of b/w A Small Town in Smalltown, KS
NO CAT# 1998
This first Reflector release I talk about is going to be talked about a lot.
Back when I was a scenster, I was introduced to Jake Cardwell of Reflector through Matt Rubin. Matt was a highschooler that first put out a 7" split with the Anniversary & Proudentall. I can't remember how I got in touch with Matt...I think it was because I was writing for an eZine called Signal Drench and we were at a show, he said he was putting out a record on his Paper Brigade Label, I said I'd review it or what have you. Anyway, Matt's second release was a 5 song EP by Reflector. So, as I was hanging out with Matt, he introduced me to Reflector and therefore, Jake Cardwell.
Jake Cardwell...if you're into the local scene in Kansas City, you know Jake Cardwell. He friggin' knows everybody. Part of it being this band, most of it being that he and has dad run C & C Drums. At the time of this release, I believe C&C Drums was just a shop (don't quote me, I'm not a drummer). Now, C&C Drums makes incredible custom drums for worldwide acts. The list of drummers that use C&C is phenomenal. Just go to the website and check it out, they are doing KC super-proud.
Anyway, this time period and group of friends--is the local scene I remember most fondly. I wasn't at KU at this point and I was trying desperately to find myself or at least a hobby while at community college in Overland Park. The group of people surrounding Reflector were some of the best people I've ever met. One guy, Nathan Reusch is doing big things right now with a local labal, The Record Machine. They've released great local albums by Capybara, the Soft Reeds, and Cowboy, Indian, Bear among others. Another person I ran into hanging with this crowd was Aaron Pillar of the Appleseed Cast because that band moved to Lawrence right around the same time and were friends with Reflector (I guess both Reflector and Appleseed Cast were in the Christian Rock scene previously before going "emo", I wasn't there for any of that Christian stuff). Obviously, I met the rest of the Cast guys too, but there's a good story about Aaron when I get to them. There's just so many people to name, but the point is, great people surrounded Reflector. It's impossible for me not to put on one of these records and not remember that period of my life.
As for the music, Reflector was a decent 3 piece band. I loved singer/guitarist Jared Scholz's voice on these records. Jared is currently a preacher at a church in Olathe, KS. Jake and bassist Harry Anderson backed Jared nicely, but always felt a little heavy when compared to Jared's high register voice. The music, this song included, is angular indie-rock. 'In Spite Of' is one of their better outings. Live it was a great number because it's easier to mask the short-comings, studio version feels a bit weighted and lacks energy, perhaps a bit too adventurous for it's own good with all the start-stop dynamics.
The flip side by Recess Theory deserves mention for it's subject matter--Kansas. But, it should be noted the band was from Florida. I did meet the band, the singer actually has ties to Kansas, I believe his grandparents lived in the state. It's a play on Kansas weather, talks the joys of small towns, then just screams, "It's 20 degrees out, 20 below! I hope it snows!" I love the idea, and it's a good little indie-rock gem, just wish someone from Kansas had actually wrote it.