Review Of ‘Synthetica’ By Metric

VRG gatefold LP jacket

Artist: Metric
Title: Synthetica
Record Label: Metric Music International
Rating: 6.8

So the good news is fans won’t be disappointed by Synthetica, Metric’s fifth LP.Counting 11 tracks strong, the album’s ‘punny’ title summarizes the band’s intention to create something that walks the fine line between what is real and what is artificial. Emily Haines and Co. take the bet by having band member Jimmy Shaw self-produce the recording. The results speak for themselves.
The opening track sets the tone like Nyree Watt’s photography gives away Mark Kozelek. Artificial Nocturne opens with the soon-to-be-quotable line ‘I’m just as fucked up as they say’, synths for namesake are thankfully ever present. The track is an always-welcomed and aggressive note from the already established indie band circuit, a daring challenge to the music scene of today.

The true range of this album comes from the playful Lost Kitten. An almost overwhelming pop cuteness comes from every falsetto high delivered by Haines. Its tragic lyrical twist provides more depth that the other moody buffer tunes sprinkled strategically along the mixed track list. It has a joyful reminiscence of the old Metric their fan base have come to adore. And adore is a faithful word to their faithful loyal crowd.

You just gotta love the sexual tension in the dirty synth composition of Dreams so Real. Either way, such a tease. There is a tremor of something powerful underneath; unfortunately it just never surfaces. A build up that promises a cathartic procession of strobe lights, spilt euphoric drinks and that moment when you look around the dance floor and just know you will remember this track and this moment forever… except the dance part is suddenly left out. Maybe I just needed a club hit, maybe we just needed closure. Soundcloud DJs please remix this.

Just as Dreams so Real might be called the highlight of this album’s prowess in all its perfect alchemic formula of lyrical content, Interpol-esque guitar picking, power pop potential and epic build up. The Wanderlust featuring an obscure Lou Reed becomes another milestone in Synthetica’s repertoire. Coldplay-like instrumental conventions aside the crucial balance between both vocalists feels like a breath of fresh synthetic air by track ten. Which makes me wonder, what ever happened to backing vocals?

The Void is not as empty.

Fans will dig Synthetica. Bad news is, to quote the album’s debut single Youth Without Youth: ‘it was a long joke till/ the punch line came.’

chris kummerfeldt

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