All our records now available for downloading
Lots of out-of-print stuff that has been gone for years is now available for download from the Store page, including the New Mexico Demos, Party cassette, and our songs from the Picture Disk and the split with Shipping News.
Metroschifter in brief
The Metroschifter released five full-length albums and several EPs between 1994 and 2000, adding a sixth a,bum in 2009. In its early years, the band included a succession of members from hardcore and indie rock heavyweights such as Rodan, Endpoint, 411, Sunspring, the Rachel's, Falling Forward, Shipping News, Transcend, Eleven Eleven, and Chamberlain.
The Metroschifter has operated in innovative ways starting with their very first record. The band is from Louisville, Kentucky, but their members originally lived in different cities across the United States. Because of this, they learned their first set of songs from demo tapes that singer/songwriter Scott Ritcher mailed out to the other members. As a result, their first tour in 1994 was booked before they had even played together. Regardless, a few intensive practice sessions before the trip solidified their sound and their debut album was recorded the following week.
In a similar fashion, that album, "The Metroschifter Capsule," went on sale before it was even finished. The band members and Ritcher's label, Slamdek, ran advertisements announcing the new group was releasing a record that could be ordered in advance. Fans purchased the album before it was completed, then each copy was personalized with the buyer's name on the cover and home-delivered.
The Metroschifter's sound is loud, distorted, thunderous, and blazing, yet sometimes stops on impossible points to become complete silence, before diving headlong back into a mathematical, emotional storm.
Reviewing the "Fort Saint Metroschifter" album, Toledo Entertainment magazine said the Metroschifter put "more curveball dynamics in 1/3 of an hour than most of their contemporaries would put in a friggin’ box set."
Impact Press describes a sound that can "fly from rage to softness to downright discordant... both spacious and gracious." Mega Music said "they almost never look or sound the same way twice" and Over The Shoulder called them "so damn inventive." A reviewer at Ignition chimed, "like nothing I’ve heard before," and Outback Magazine echoed, "One of the most unique and interesting bands."
Maybe Punk Planet made Metroschifter proudest: "There are very few bands that are putting out such challenging albums. It's incredible. Three cheers for the Metroschifter!"
Early on, the band decided to stretch their sound, to never make the same record twice, and to make a conscious effort to test their audience. In 1996, they briefly departed from their ultra-distorted, full-throttle sound, and released an even more demanding record, the all-acoustic, country album "Generation Rx." Teleport City observed, "I've always admired Metroschifter's willingness to fuck with people," but Second Nature wasn't as smitten and barked, "After this record, Metroschifter should rename their band to something more suiting, like for instance, Crap!"
Metroschifter released "Encapsulated" in 2000 which pushed the band deeper into uncharted territory. On this unique record, they assembled a cast of some of their favorite bands who each learned and recorded a new, unreleased Metroschifter song. The result was an album of new Metroschifter songs on which each song was performed by a different artist. Participants included Elliott, The Get Up Kids, Ink & Dagger, The Promise Ring, Refused, Burning Airlines, and Rye Coalition. Manatee Bound announced, "this has never been done before," while Pitchfork comically wondered if the aging members of Metroschifter were too lazy to play their own songs.
All three members of Metroschifter have collaborated with each other on a variety of other projects in the time since the band was regularly active. And all members are also currently in other groups; Chris Reinstatler performs in Brett Ralph's Kentucky Chrome Revue; Scott Ritcher is in the group Best Actress; Pat McClimans leads Lafayette, Indiana's Root Hog. Ritcher also ran in the 1998 election for Louisville mayor and was a 2008 candidate for Kentucky's state senate.
After taking about six years off between 1999 and 2005, they returned to the stage for a series of exciting sold-out shows in Louisville. Always trying to keep it interesting, the opening act for the first return performance was a spelling bee in which audience members competed against bassist Pat McClimans. He lost. Since their return, they have picked tiny, ridiculous ticket prices ranging from $1.79 to $2.44 in their hometown to dispel rumors they were reuniting to make money. They tried to start a new band, but it didn't feel right, so they decided to just be the Metroschifter.
The Metroschifter has played over 200 shows, across 14 countries, including six tours of Europe and five tours in the United States. Scott Ritcher also recorded and toured as a solo artist in the US and Europe.
The bulk of Metroschifter's and Scott Ritcher's music was issued on Doghouse Records and is available from that label or from the Apple iTunes Music Store. Many tracks are available directly from Metroschifter.com.
The band's sixth full-length recording was released in July 2009, on the Louisville label Noise Pollution. To coincide with the new record, in November 2009, Metroschifter embarked on their sixth tour of Europe.
Scott also writes and performs in another band called Best Actress. The group features the vocals of Maya Weissbach, formerly of the Chicago group Music For Boating.
Best Actress has a CD available from Metroschifter's own label, I Can't Believe It's a Record Company. Velocity Weekly called it one of the best albums of the year.
Download the whole album from us for just $5 or get it from iTunes for under $10.
More items of interest
Be our friend on MySpace. Seriously.
Scott Ritcher ran for Kentucky State Senate in 2008: BallotRevolution.org
Metroschifter is a rock band from Louisville, Kentucky
PO BOX 43551 / LOUISVILLE KY 40253
UPDATED 7 APRIL 2013