Album Review: Metric – Synthetica (2012 LP)

Metric - Synthetica

Metric have always balanced the rock and synth-based pop sound impeccably, and no album showcases this better than their 2009 breakthrough Fantasies. And now that the band is enjoying more exposure and success (in part thanks to appearances on soundtracks like Scott Pilgrim vs the World and Twilight: Eclipse) the anticipation for their follow-up was understandably high.

Luckily, with their fifth studio album, Metric have delivered in spades. Synthetica is the band’s most accessible and pop-driven – “Breathing Underwater” and “Clone” have a similar bittersweet quality and strong hooks that resonated through older songs like “Gimme Sympathy” and “Monster Hospital”. But the album easily avoids becoming too saccharine thanks to Emily Haines’ biting, self-deprecating lyrics – “Artificial Nocturne” opens the record with a snarling “I”m just as fucked up as they say, I can’t fake the daytime”, while in “Lost Kitten” she laments “Hit me where it hurts, I’m coming home to lose”.

But while Metric wear pop well, where they work best is where they rock.The stomping, glammy ” Youth Without Youth” hammers it home with its driving fist-in-the-air beats, while title track Synthetica, probably the most guitar-driven song on the album, boasts big-sound riffs and catchy, hook-filled chorus.

Metric have melded indie rock with electronica more meticulously than ever on Synthetica – In short, they have created an album that you can really dance to. Synthetica could well be one of the greatest albums of the year, from a band is unashamedly eclectic and consistently adventurous.

Review Score: 8.0 out of 10