METRIC – ” Formentera “

Posted: July 17, 2022 in MUSIC

The Canadian band Metric returns with the successor to the almost four-year-old “Art Of Doubt”, which was of the high level that we have come to expect from the band over the past twenty years. The band based around Emily Haines delivers their eighth album with “Formentera” and it is an album that shows that Metric had not yet reached its creative peak. After all, “Formentera” is a great album, which in my opinion stands out above its predecessors. The vinyl artwork for Metric’s new album, “Formentera”, includes a motto that sums up the past few years: This Is What Happened. It’s an understatement that manages to say everything. Even real places become imaginary when they are so far out of reach. Named for an idyllic island near Ibiza off the coast of Spain, “Formentera” is a place that, for Metric, only existed on a page in a “dream destinations” travel book that lay open on a desk in the new recording studio that guitarist Jimmy Shaw built in 2020, in a rural hamlet north of Toronto. This is the setting where the band’s eighth album took shape. Metric’s sound is both genre-defying and genre-defining. Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw, bassist Joshua Winstead and drummer Joules Scott Key started playing together in NYC in 2001.

The album opens with a real sledgehammer. The more than ten-minute opening track “Doomscroller” shows a cross-section of the band’s entire oeuvre and impresses from the first to the last note. “Doomscroller” opens with synth-pop, then drags you towards the dance floor with impressive beats, has beautiful piano interludes with atmospheric synths and at the end of the track also turns into a real and gently gritty guitar song. It delivers an instant classic of the kind that isn’t made today.

Musically, the opening track grabs you by the throat, but Emily Haines’ great vocals also ensure that the Canadian band’s new album immediately makes an indelible impression. The downside of the brilliant opening track is of course that the remaining 35 minutes of the album maintains a pretty high level.

On “Formentera“, as usual, the band is influenced by the new wave as it developed from the late 70s, but Metric certainly does not get stuck in the influences from a now distant past. “Formentera” also sounds as fresh and contemporary as we now expect from Metric.

In the fascinating opening track, the guitars certainly do not play the leading role, but on the rest of the album the band excels again with excellent guitar work, which delivers both irresistibly tasty guitar runs and modest but accurate guitar walls. It is guitar work that is combined with here and there firmly set synths and of course with the so recognizable vocals of Emily Haines, who still provides Metric with a special sound of her own.

Metric does not shy away from the grand and compelling songs on “Formentera” and applies for an open spot on the festival grounds this summer, but the band also opts for more subdued songs here and there and always puts enough adventure into its songs, so that “Formentera” continues to stimulate the imagination easily.

Metric’s new album plays a winning match after the masterful opening track, but the other songs on the album have also come to life since the first listen, so I dare to call “Formentera” the provisional crown on the work of the Canadian band.

Metric unfortunately still has a fairly modest status, but listen to the band’s new album and it seems to me that Emily Haines and her fellow musicians will pack you mercilessly, provided of course you love especially new wave influenced songs with a leading role for both guitars and keyboards.

Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?, the band’s debut, celebrates its twentieth anniversary next year, but it’s never too late to embrace a world band like Metric.

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