It was the rainy day before Synthetica‘s release, and Metric saw their fans facing the waters in front of Toronto’s Corus building with headstrong patience. This was the group that made a name for themselves in Toronto’s Indie scene, putting out records that felt like the band members had electricity flowing through their veins. Emily Haines, after playing several cuts from the new record, went to the mic to surprise fans with her blissful words.
“The future is mine, but so is the past…”
Is that really true with Pagans In Vegas? Not quite. Following in the footsteps of their past single “Breathing Underwater,” the band’s latest album is much brighter and more radio-friendly than pre-Synthetica works. The band known for uttering the eyebrow-raising lyric “I’m not suicidal / I just can’t get out of bed” don’t come off as having a revelation with their peppier sounds, but instead demonstrate another case of a band wanting to come up with another record because they could, not because they should.
“Lie, Lie, Lie” indicates the nitty-gritty that Metric has shown so well in the past. Sacrificing the self for fame is a topic that Haines sings playfully, yet with a hint of insanity to it. She recognizes the plight of the character while the laser-fired synths go off with the clean strings. This track fits much better within Fantasies. “Fortunes” suffers from its disjointed melodies that connect verses with choruses, even though a majority of its tone is that of a harlequin mask that hums satanic phrases. “Celebrate” fails to deliver any more than amateurish techno with bland lyrics, having an obnoxiously repetitive echo that is contrived.
Though repetition can be an issue, a song like “The Shade” manages to be endearing because of its all-together catchy synth beeps and nature-loving chorus. The robotic pitch shift on “Cascades” goes perfectly well alongside the cybernetic and separated rhythms the instrumentation feverishly shoots out. “For Kicks” makes Haines’ voice spider-like, even with the caressing tone of its uncaring chorus. James Shaw’s simple guitar work complements the flowing melodies well. “The Governess” produces something of a dream-like quality, but the strange Coldplay tendencies of “Other Side” are hard to scrub off.
The rest of the album is mostly forgettable and mediocre, making the thought of waiting for another Metric record a scary one. Will Metric be able to surprise? The future and the past is still theirs after all…
Dustin Ragucos is a writer of things fictional, poetic, and musical. His main loves include Death Grips and Indie music. Dustin’s blog is host to a weekly blurb about albums old and new.