Review by Will “The Thrill” Viharo
Every once in a while a band like the Metrolites–and there aren’t very many–comes along to remind you how good life can be. This swingin’ lounge combo from Iowa create a sonic tonic for your shattered modern nerves with their smooth but rockin’ cocktail mix of spy, monster and exotic sounds.
Percussionist/vocalist/theramin player Scott Morschhauser wrote most of the original tunes on the group’s debut CD, In Spy-Fi (Go Go Golem Records), including several versions of their theme, “The Man from M.E.T.R.O.” He also co-wrote with guitar goddess Kathleen Gallagher my favorite track, “Gunfight at the Zombie Mineshaft,” an ultra-cool instrumental conjuring images of a cinematic meeting between Sergio Leone and George Romero. “Cyclops Optometrist” is another standout on an album with nothing but winners.
They also offer a faithfully frenetic version of Burt Bacharach’s “The Blob,” but most of the CD is comprised of the band’s own numbers, hip B-movie hi-fi hybrids, like “Land of the Giants,” “The Abominable Dr. Vibes,” and socially conscious gems, such as “Middle Class Hell” and “TV Drugs,” proving their passions aren’t all pop culture stimulated. Employing sax, bongos, theremin, vibes and more in a unique yet classic context. The Metrolites now rival The Moon-Rays as the premiere Midwest Lounge Band. But this is like comparing the Stones to the Beatles. Plenty of room for both in a world gone mad.
Beatnik lounge lizard and writer Will “the Thrill” Viharo and his wife, Monica “the Tiki Goddess,” host a live cult movie cabaret called “Thrillville” at the Cerrito Speakeasy Theater in El Cerrito, CA. At home, he relaxes to groovy Vegas lounge, exotica, and heavy doses of Elvis while drinking homemade Mai Tais (which may have influenced these reviews somewhat).