UK-based electronic band Metronomy continued to make inroads with American audiences on Saturday night, proving themselves worthy of the critical praise they’ve been receiving over the past year.
A sold-out Brighton Music Hall played host to the band from southern England, further evidence that “The English Riviera,’’ released almost exactly one year ago, has provided the stateside breakthrough they’ve been looking for. The album manages to package Joseph Mount’s stylistic approach - bouncy electro jazz grooves built around Gbenga Adelekan’s slick bass work - into a potent 45-minute dose, and Metronomy’s live show was equally efficient in delivering the goods.
Echoing the new wave influences heard within their music, Mount, along with Adelekan and keyboardist Oscar Cash, wore matching white button-down shirts and clean white Keds sneakers. They eased into “We Broke Free,’’ with Cash laying down warm organ chords behind Mount’s soft vocals gliding on top of the mix. Mount’s lyrics don’t probe emotional depths, instead flirting around the edges of heartbreak and dry British gloom; but his bright sense of pop song structure and the quality of his musicians are what propel the tracks forward.
In contrast to the rest of the band, percussionist Anna Prior, cutting a striking figure behind the drum set with her red hair and sparkling violet dress, drifted in and out of the proceedings, at times providing nothing more than a minimal backbeat for the rest of the band. Opportunities to take on more vocal work, as she did singing the lead on “Everything Goes My Way,’’ will hopefully be forthcoming.
“The Look’’ captured the band in their sharpest form. With Adelekan again providing the engine on bass and Cash playing the lead on an analog synthesizer, Mount’s two verses were just enough to balance the equation. Metronomy’s overall sound currently outpaces Mount’s ability to craft memorable lyrics to pair with it, but judging from Saturday’s performance, he’s doing something right at the moment.Martín Caballero can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter@_el_caballero.