With a ten-minute opening opus, Metric’s electro-pop tiered alt-rock hits its stride from the initial pulsating seconds of ‘Formentera’. Inspired by a magazine promoting the Balearic island, the Toronto band’s eighth album owes more to an escapist state of mind than a postcard portrait of its namesake’s palm trees and private beaches. Speeding through late-‘90s Eurodance via softer keyed breathers, ‘Doomscroller’ is a throwback anthem with lyrics rooted in addictions of the modern age – an adrenaline-primed benchmark for the rest of the album. ‘All Comes Crashing’ finds twitching guitars and Emily Haines’ vocals at their most animated, tight basslines and Italo disco-esque synths scatter the title track’s elastic melancholia, whereas the driving-rock of ‘I Will Never Settle’ balances AOR riffs with glitched-out cyber gloss. ‘False Dichotomy’ jolts between the all-out pop of The Knife and La Roux, trending with the era-flitting standard at the record’s heart - the chugging guitar-driven choruses that powered ‘Art of Doubt’ more electronic focused but retaining the latter’s brighter scaled melodies. Twenty years in, Metric prove they’re still able to flaunt a few surprises whilst tearing through a familiar exchange of sharp sheen and double-edged themes.
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