Congratulations are in order for yet another Myspace popularity contest winner - Metro Station. Within barely over a year, this group formed, released a full album in September 2007, and became lucky enough to gather interest and production assistance from Justin Pierre and Josh Cain of Motion City Soundtrack. Sam Hollander (Boys Like Girls, Gym Class Heros) also had a hand in the Metro Station debut. The question remains - can singer Trace Cyrus (stepson of Billy Ray Cyrus) prove his talent or does he owe his band's success to these amazing connections? The Metro Station product is far from falling into the pop and country expectations of the Cyrus family ... in fact, the band's electro-dance sound is something I would pair with Hellogoodbye standards. The lyrics are completely unoriginal and mindless but, at the same time, so catchy it hurts.
While recently in LA, I was offered a chance to catch a sold out Metro Station hometown show at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. I was curious to see how they'd come across live. As I imagined, it was lacking the dance vibe and sounded more emo-rock. At times, the crowd seemed more excited then the artists and I got a little creeped out when Jeffree Star (another proclaimed Myspace celeb) emerged onstage jumping and dancing around. Metro Station may be an overnight internet success but the live show is definitely lacking some spunk. I admit "Control" and "Kelsey" are songs I enjoy listening to - especially when I need some toe tapping simplicity to start my work day - but, the overall stage presence may have to get a bit more interesting.
Lastly, if you want a new band to check out, listen to my current fave The Whigs. "Right Hand On My Heart" is a great southern inspired garage-rock tune. Their second album, Mission Control, was just released on ATO Records and their live show is a mix of energy and passion. Lead singer, Parker Gispert hops around like he has a broken ankle but it makes for an interesting show!
*By Jen Panczenko, who is currently packing for a move to LA in April!