Prepare your turntable for heavy rotation spinners vinyl fans, ’cause Bandbox is out to bring the record store to your own front door.
Groove is in the Bandbox
That’s right music fans, Bandbox is now a premiere online record store offering you the chance to fill your box with albums from artists spanning every genre. As their slogan goes, it’s pretty much like having the record store delivered to your front door. And Bandbox is indeed boasting a record store style variety of artists and albums, with a treasure trove of exclusive pressings you do not want to sleep on.
Having it your way is the Bandbox mantra. With a storefront offering exclusive color pressings of albums from an artist you adore, and a fresh edition of Bandbox’s artist-specific fan zine, the B-Box crew has effectively made it possible to do a little legit bin-diving from the comfort your very own home.
So what did I scoop from Bandbox this month? A a rollicking indie rock gem in Metric’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?
As noted, Bandbox is no longer subscription service, having recently gone the way of full-blown online marketplace. And all that really means is shopping with Bandbox has never been a more “you get out exactly what you put in” sort of deal.
Let the Great World Spin
As for myself, I took to the site this month to jump on an exclusive, 20th Anniversary pressing of Metric’s killer 2003 debut Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?. And yes, despite the fundamental change in how Bandbox is selling, each exclusive still comes with one of those trademark fanzines. Here’s a quick look.
If you’ve been following my unboxings, you know Bandbox has been on a bit of a role lately in terms of color variants. And they hit another home run with Old World Underground, which I’ll get to in just a moment. For now, let’s have a gander at the packaging, ’cause I really love both the front, and back cover art for this one.
And the band keep the industrial art motif going on the printed inner sleeve too.
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? (2003)
The indie rock scene has seen its share of heydays over the decades. But fans who get their kicks with artists who make music on the fringes of the mainstream can tell you the early aughts were about as fruitful a time for indie fare as the world has ever seen, with new bands breaking out of New York, Toronto, L.A., and places in-between every other day.
Metric was a major part of that early-2000s indie scene, cutting their teeth on the Toronto scene before breaking out in New York alongside the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs, TV on the Radio, and others. The band joined the rock revival hit parade in 2003 with the release of their official debut album Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?. The album was, of course, actually recorded after their Grow Up and Blow Away, which wasn’t released until 2007 thanks to some record label shenanigans. Old World Underground was also recorded in Los Angeles, meaning Metric was essentially at the center of the three major hotspots of the ’00s indie scene.
In any case, Old World Underground probably suited the band better as a debut that Grow Up as they’d wholly refined their sonic template in the years leading up to its recording. And yes, the studio time logged on Grow Up was instrumental in how they approached the recording of Old World Underground as it allowed the band to serve up a “debut” cut by a unit who know exactly how their songs should sound.
As for that sound, well, as many of their contemporaries did, Metric utilized synthesizers, drum machines, heady beats, and guitars to bring their songs to life. But Metric somehow still managed to not sound like anybody else on the planet when they hit the scene. And Old World Underground is arguably the purist distillation of what they were capable of in the studio, with members Emily Haines, James Shaw, Joshua Winstead, and Joules Scott-Key ripping through the 10-track set with a mix of surgical precision, and reckless rock & roll abandon.
In doing so, they produced some of the best songs they’ve ever released, with numbers like “Dead Disco,” “Succexxy,” and “Combat Baby” remaining staples of their oeuvre to this day. And no, it wasn’t long before Hollywood came calling either, with Metric tunes soon turning up in films like “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World,” and “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.” Heck, the band themselves even made an appearance in Olivier Assayas’ 2004 stunner “Clean.”
Titanic legacy of Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? aside, it’s beyond difficult to fathom that the album is turning 20 this year. Nonetheless, it’s great to see Bandbox honoring the momentous anniversary with such a sexy reissue. And if you call yourself a fan of the band, or the album, you should seek this pressing out immediately.
Oh, and just FYI – if you’re dying to learn a little more about the history of Metric, or the making of Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, the Bandbox fanzine is the place to find out.
Anyway, if you’re still curious about the colorway for Bandbox’s pressing of Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, here’s a look. As you can see, I was hardly overselling my praise of this black and translucent yellow beauty.
And holy smokes is this one fit to set your turntable ablaze.
It’s the Bandbox You Want and the Bandbox You Need
I’ll be the first to admit to being bummed Bandbox is no longer a strict subscription service. But given the way supply chain delays have been affecting them in recent months, it’s not hard to understand why the change was necessary.
Changes aside, I’m happy to report Bandbox product is as solid as it’s ever been. If you’re hot to get your hands on this pressing of Metric’s Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, it’s still very much available the ole Bandbox store. So head on over and claim your copy. Happy spinning, friends!
A thousand THANK Yous to the folks at Bandbox for sponsoring this subscription. If you like what you’ve seen here, you can head over to the Bandbox website and sign up to have a sexy new Bandbox delivered to your own front door every single month. While you’re there, feel free to check out their podcast and merch section too! And be sure to check back soon to see what goodies we find in our next Bandbox!