There was a time when Mew was just brimming under the surface here in the States. The Danish band had an admirable following in its home country—few knew of the ensemble’s lushly bloated strength over here, but those who did, and those who were lucky enough to see the band live, had tales to tell. In 2005 Mew broke through with its follow-up to “Frengers,” a record called “And the Glass Handed Kites,” and on the back of single “The Zookeeper’s Boy” achieved acclaim and modest popularity in America. At this time, with the gorgeous power of “Frengers” and the step forward in ambition and size of sound that was “Kites,” it seemed Mew was on the track to become one of the strongest bands on Earth, capable of combining glammy prog-rock with starry orchestral arrangements and thrilling, goosebump-inducing crescendos. And then time passed. And more time. Reality set in. Mew was just a band, and ultimately “Kites” was a little boring, lacking the staying power of the excellent “Frengers.” Released in August, the group’s new record, preposterously titled “No More Stories / Are Told Today / I’m Sorry / They Washed Away // No More Stories / The World Is Grey / I’m Tired / Let’s Wash Away,” sees the band moving towards pop a bit more, but prog tendencies are difficult to shake, and Mew always has enough to spare. Big, bold, at times beautiful and at others tragically unlistenable, Mew’s propensity for life on the big screen gets older by the minute. What comes next is what really counts. (Tom Lynch)
December 7 at Metro, 3730 N. Clark, (773)549-0203, at 7:30pm. $19.