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Metric – Synthetica album review

What is the real? What is fake? What happens now? These are the questions that Metric poses to us with the release of their fifth album, Synthetica.

If Metric has a distinctive sound, it is that of a band that can combine catchy solid pop rock sound with themes of darkness and uncertainty. “I’m just as fucked up as they say, I can’t fake the daytime. Found an entrance to escape into the dark”. These are the opening lines of Artificial Nocturne and, consequently, the opening lines of Synthetica as a work over all. I can’t think of a better way to prepare the listener for what is to come. Angst can become cliché really easily, but Emily Haines pulls it off effortlessly with her strong vocals. The rest of Metric is there right behind her, crafting an environment that strengthens each song.

Song after song, Synthetica makes use of catchy grooves, fuzzy guitars, and driving beats. Track 2, Youth Without Youth launches with a solid electro-percussive sound that makes me think of New Order but with a lot more attitude and aggression. We see a bit of shift here and there though, showing that Metric isn’t content to just sit one trick. Dreams So Real does seem a bit like a dream, though one with dark shadows and dangers lurking at every corner  as the music gradually builds in a methodical manner. Over this we have Haines singing a very simple melody that gets easily trapped in the head.

Easily the showcase of the album though is the title track. If you don’t find your foot tapping along to this song there is a good chance that you are dead inside. This is where we reach the height of the theme of confusion about reality, lyrically, and the music is almost frantic driving the urgency.

A lot of the time I complain about bands that seem over produced and polished to the point that there seems to be no emotion left. Synthetica is the exception to this rule. Every note, every sound seems precisely placed and well thought out. There are no thoughtless notes here and Metric never once seems less sincere for it.

So, what is real in the end? What is the truth? Well, as I see it…the truth here is that Metric is one indie band that fully deserves the break into the mainstream that they have made.

By Chris Angel

When not sharing his opinions on the World Wide Web, Chris spends his time writing and recording music.

Chris currently has three albums out, all available on iTunes, and is eager to start writing more for his next album. He also enjoys grilled cheese sandwiches and being handed briefcases full of money.

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