Jun 13, 2012 Issue #41 - Yeasayer
No one could accuse the dark moods of Metric's music of hanging like storm clouds over the band's latest set of songs. Synthetica is eerie and disconcerting, but grounded in a realism that the band refers to as its first attempt at "facing what you know is true." The Canadian foursome has come down from the highs of 2009's successful Fantasies—which wasn't exactly a spritely dance through the heavens—and landed on solid ground. Ten years together as Metric has by no means taken away the underground cool of the band's aura. Rather, the sound is growing sharper and tighter as it pulses into the night air.
"Youth Before Youth" is an insanely catchy ode to the best of Depeche Mode, all buzzy bass and punchy percussion. Emily Haines gives rock stars something to aim for with her cunning, powerful vocals. Feedback hisses through the song like a tea kettle ready to explode, adding to its relentless tension.
Nothing else on the album matches that energy, but the rest is by no means lacking. "I'll shut up and carry on/A scream becomes a yawn" echoes through the moodier "Dreams So Real," a quiet ode to repression where ringing guitars and subtle synths lull you into a stupor. It's followed brilliantly by "Lost Kitten," a peppy, Cardigans-esque number brought to life with effervescent chimes and a chugging verse-chorus-verse that's as close as Metric will ever get to cheerleading.
There's something untouchable here that's just Metric. It's not easy to pull off jagged guitar riffs that prompt reckless behavior and dance marathons all at once, all while maintaining an anthemic quality. As the band reach more people with a growing fan base, they're not shying away from the same driving rhythms and melodies that colored their earliest songs. They are just as edgy as they always have been. And grounded in the truth, their songs are only getting better. (www.ilovemetric.com)
Author rating: 7/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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