Thursday, March 12

Metric- 'Fantasies'

. Thursday, March 12

Nearly four years since they released 'Live It Out' Metric return with the long-awaited new album 'Fantasies'.

The Canadian outfits confident veneer and pounding rhythms are instantly recognisable on album opener 'Help, I'm Alive' . Emily Haines strides through the guitar fuzz and riffs to take centre stage telling all how her heart is "beating like a hammer", simultaneously instilling similar pulminary reactions. The switch in styles between the building sense of dread and pretty acoustic breaks make for an addictive listen and sets up 'Fantasies' nicely.

'Live It Out' is an overlooked classic and a daunting LP to follow up, Metric deal with this by taking all of their successful song-writing elements and distilling them into ten doses of radio friendly rock anthems. 'Fantasies' leaves the thrashing punk and slinky electro of 'Live It Out' behind, screeches off into the distance. Yes, they still rock and Emily Haines still sounds like the Karen O nobody really knows about but this time out Metric sound in control, collected and wise. At times this restraint gives them an air of cool but at the same time it stops things hitting their suggested peaks.

Like seemingly everything in 2009 much of the album sounds heavily indebted to the 80's, particularly 'Gimme Sympathy' and 'Satellite Mind' which channel a Stevie Knicks style and run with it. Elsewhere Haines goes intergalactic balladeer on (Twighlight Galaxy) and plays cupid (Sick Muse). However the second half of the album (and it's only ten tracks long) gets bogged down: seemingly someone tied a ball and chain to the album around track 6, a ball with a picture of Alison Goldfrapps face on it.

'Stadium Love' brings proceedings to an end with incredible style though. A full on aural assault with super-sized drums, synthesizers and guitar solo's at every turn, it's an album highlight and proof of what Metric can achieve when they let go. Whilst 'Fantasies' fails to live up to its predecessor there is still enough here to justify the wait and bring long overdue attention to a great band.


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