Metroschifter

Metroschifter

Encapsulated

Doghouse

This was a fascinating idea, and I’m happy to report that the execution was quite successful. Instead of recording the new Metroschifter album themselves, Scott Richter gave skeleton demos to a handpicked group of bands and had them record the songs. It’s a compilation of sorts, except that all the songs share the same songwriter. Not covers though, really, because the rest of Metroschifter never had a chance to make their impact on the song ideas. It’s almost as if Scott was temporarily a member of all the bands involved and showed up to their practices with an idea for a song, then sat back to watch what happened to it.

Even though the arrangements and styles differ the common thread is apparent when listening. There are some surprises dished out with how bands approached the songs, particularly in that Burning Airlines and Refused both chose a somewhat quieter path than normal. No complaints on either’s approach [~] both were tastefully fitting. I have to wonder if “Dear Hillary” (performed by Burning Airlines) was a nod to Hilary Noltemeyer’s column-thingy in Scott’s K Composite ‘zine (http://www.kcomposite.com). The lyrics don’t really make it apparent, but it would make sense.

At least one of these songs was recorded by Metroschifter, as well, and it was before they heard the other version. It’s interesting to hear the similarities and differences in the interpretations. The song in question is “Impossible Outcome” and the band that tried it on was the Get Up Kids. I like both versions. Scott Richter writes good songs. That’s a statement that holds true with the rest of the album as well. Signature sounds are in place over well-penned songs, and I’m bowled over by the bands I already knew (the Promise Ring, Joan Of Arc, Elliot, Ink and Dagger, Rye Coalition, the Enkindels) and nicely surprised by a couple new ones (Cooler, Kyle Crabtree & Jason Noble). The track from MT Rhoades and His Lonesome Woods Band I’m rather indifferent to, but there’s nothing I outright despise on here. Overall this is a uniquely good record.

Doghouse Records, P.O. Box 8946, Toledo, OH 43623; http://www.doghouserecords.com

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