Metroschifter – Strawberries EP

Strawberries EP

Metroschifter has really been around for a while, but this is the first Metroschifter album I’ve owned. I’ve heard other songs on comps, and I’ve read about them a lot. Apparently, they’ve been pretty hit or miss in the past. When they hit, though, they hit hard. This is just a trio, which is hard to remember. They play a style of powerful guitar rock, usually catchy as hell and incorporating elements of post-hardcore, emo, and pop into all of their songs.
Apparently, Metroschifter have managed to change their sound repeatedly over the years. This EP is sort of a new step for the band, although it doesn’t vary too much from their older stuff I’ve heard. It’s just louder and more sonic, with more powerful guitars and more intensity. I like this sound, and I think that this band does it remarkably well for having the emo rock stereotype to it.
“L 182/Persona” starts off soft and quiet with organ stuff, and then it kicks! Literally! Powerful power chords going from one speaker to the other, loud and crunchy. The vocals sound much better here than on most other Metroschifter albums I’ve heard. And the guitar throughout this song is just awesome. It slows down and sounds more poppy, then kicks back in again! Yeah! “Numbers and letters, letters and numbers, she’s just a product others make her into,” singer Scott Ritcher belts out. And then it goes into a drum-n-bass backbeat behind sonic guitar blasts, definitely different. “Actress” is a hardcore/punk/rock hybrid, loud and fast, with shouted “actress” as the chorus and vocals that are more shouted, definitely new for this band. “Forensic Economics” starts off so quiet, with every chord change on the guitar audible. This so reminds me of some of Far’s slower songs, even when the lyrics kick in a little louder and the drums kick in. It’s definitely the EP’s introspective and somber track. There’s even piano here. There’s some filler on this album, like the 2-minute drum beat and mumblings to “Opaque” and the soft guitar of “Continuity Piece,” but that’s what EPs are for: experimentation before the next full-length. And “My Old Kentucky Home” is a good example of where they’re headed, with a long rock introduction and some great vocals. This is just barely short of being a heavy/hardcore song. Oh, and when that guitar solo kicks in, it’s straight out of Guns N Roses. Heh, who’d a figured? Great song, long and hard rocking!
Well, if Strawberries is where Metroschifter is headed, they’re bound to win over some new fans. Whether they alienate their old ones will remain to be seen, but I, for one, really enjoy this style. It’s edgier, harder, less perfect around the edges and more intense, but the songs still have that catchiness that Metroschifter are known for. The vocals are much better than I’ve heard before, as well. Apparently Ritcher’s well-publicized run for mayor gave the band some down-time it needed to refine and recreate their sound.