Thursday, 26 March 2009

Metric - Fantasies (Metric Music International 2009)

Canadian pop quartet Metric are back with a new album that flits between large pop and small tinges of punk. Big choruses dance around vulnerable verses. Metallic drums and thistle guitars push ‘Help I’m Alive’ the lead single and album opener forward in a soaring direction, well upwards in a soaring direction. In 2005, Metric knocked the world for six with the one-two punch of their anthemic single “Monster Hospital” (with its ubiquitous “I fought the war/ and the war won” catchcry) and their critically acclaimed album “Live It Out”. This album is more of the same, ploughing that ethereal and poignant punk pop field that made their name in the first place. ‘Gold Guns and Girls’ seems to be a riposte against the limitations of man with its uptempo skittering drums and synth swells. Lead singer Emily Haines is a decent enough front woman, managing to sound lost and vulnerable but with a degree of power and control at the same time, which despite the contrasting emotions, gives her this position of being able to mould songs into two distinct moods. The workman-like musicianship of the rest of the band provide a backing that is both electronic synths, spiky punky guitars and a mash-up between live and programmed drums that gives them an extra depth. Occasionally, there is a stray into too emo-pop styling, ‘Satellite Mind’ but they manage to pull it back with their quieter more trip-hoppy numbers like ‘Blindness’ and the riot grrl electronics of ‘Front Row’. This is a good album that occasionally strays into forgettably listenable, which is a shame because the talents on display and that have been witnessed in the past could definitely have produced something with a little bit more verve and electricity, however seem to have settled for a sound that emotes well in pivotal scenes in One Tree Hill-a-like shows. Workmanlike and listenable and good but underwhelming on repeated listens.


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