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Metric - Fantasies

Metric, Fantasies

Review by Jack Foley

IT’S been four years since Canadian outfit Metric released their debut album Live It Out and a lot has changed since then. The music industry, in particular, has become more opportunistic as labels struggle to keep a grip of bands, and the internet has helped others shape their own destiny.

The emphasis on guitar bands has also, more recently, given way to a dependence on keyboards and synths. Metric have seized on both trends to deliver their latest LP, Fantasies and prosper as a result.

It’s being released on their own label and offers an enaging blend of psychedelia, electro and rock… all powered by Emily Haines’ distinct, magnetic vocals.

Occasionally, there’s a Ladytron or Saint Etienne vibe attached to the material, but mostly Metric appear to have paid attention to current trends very well to deliver the type of comeback album that’ll help get them noticed once again.

Album opener and former single is a particularly strong starting point. Mixing tempos, bouncing guitar riffs off synth loops and a vigorous drump loop, it’s loaded with sing-along lyrics such as “my heart keeps beating like a hammer” and a keen combination of light and grey. The verses are really quite dark and menacing, before unfolding into euphoric choruses. It’s an invigorating jumping off point… or re-entry, depending on how much you know of Metric before.

Thereafter, the mix is largely maintained, with occasional moments that really help the album come alive. Sick Muse is a fairly straightforward anti-love song that builds towards a head-rush chorus of epic magnitude, while Satellite Mind has a throbbing electronic pulse, spiky riffs and another empowering chorus.

On the haunted, synth-based slow-burner Twilight Galaxy, Haines comes over vaguely ethereal and reminiscent of the Scandinavian pop of Robyn, before blowing out the cobwebs with the noisy, riotous Gold Guns And Girls, which again showcases Metric’s ability to deliver a killer chorus, albeit at breakneck pace.

A few further tracks to take note of include the slower, more melodic efforts such as Collect Call, which arrives like a bit of a breath of fresh air to demonstrate some diversity, and – likewise – the brooding Blindness, which drips with darkness.

Just occasionally, latter tracks sound a little samey and more like fillers. But in most respects, Metric have made an emphatic return that deserves to reap big rewards for their risk-taking ability.

Download picks: Help I’m Alive, Sick Muse, Collect Call, Blindness, Twilight Galaxy

Track listing:

  1. Help, I’m Alive
  2. Sick Muse
  3. Satellite Mind
  4. Twilight Galaxy
  5. Gold Guns Girls
  6. Gimme Sympathy
  7. Collect Call
  8. Front Row
  9. Blindness
  10. Stadium Love