The Metric system

Canadian foursome craft more slick synth-pop with “Fantasies”

PHOTO COURTESY LAST GANG RECORDS

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY LAST GANG RECORDS

ARTIST: Metric ALBUM: âÄúFantasiesâÄù LABEL: Self-released RELEASE DATE: April 14 3 out of 5 stars The members of Metric sure do get around. When lead singer Emily Haines is not lending her shimmery voice to Broken Social SceneâÄôs calliope of musical members or doing stints with Stars and MSTRKRFT, sheâÄôs releasing her own dark, brooding piano work as a solo artist under the name Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton. Drummer Joules Scott-Key and bassist Josh Winstead have their own side band, Bang Lime, and guitarist James Shaw has accompanied Haines on her jaunts to Broken Social Scene-land. However, the Canadian four-piece, whoâÄôve released four previous albums under the Metric name, has come together again to create MetricâÄôs first album in four years, âÄúFantasies.âÄù ItâÄôs a record full of synth-heavy, slickly produced dance pop. Like many anticipated albums nowadays, âÄúFantasiesâÄù leaked online much earlier than anticipated, driving up its release date to April 14. Metric could be accused of riding the âÄúone-trick ponyâÄù train, as a lot of their material veers toward driving guitars and HaineâÄôs ethereal rock-chick vocals. ThatâÄôs partially true, but could be credited to MetricâÄôs trademark aesthetic; if it ainâÄôt broke, donâÄôt fix it. âÄúFantasiesâÄù doesnâÄôt disappoint those whoâÄôve pumped Metric through their earbuds way before the band was featured on âÄúGreyâÄôs AnatomyâÄù and âÄúCSI.âÄù Haines, instead of hanging out at the piano as she does sans bandmates, mans the synthesizer, which, as previously stated, gets a workout on âÄúFantasies.âÄù The album is short and concise, full of intricate songs like the atmospheric âÄúCollect Call.âÄù âÄúGimme Sympathy,âÄù whose accompanying music video features the pretty blonde Haines rocking a teeny minidress, prowls on a wave of riveting guitars with HainesâÄô voice floating atop said wave as she sings, âÄúWho would you rather be/the Beatles or the Rolling Stones/YouâÄôre gonna make mistakes, youâÄôre young/Come on baby play me something/Like âÄòHere Comes the Sun.âÄô âÄù âÄúTheyâÄôre gonna eat me alive,âÄù sings Haines on (accidental) first single âÄúHelp IâÄôm Alive.âÄù Apparently, âÄúHelpâÄù wasnâÄôt intended as a single but had such a good response on music blogs and radio stations that Haines and company didnâÄôt mind. WhatâÄôs most special about Metric is HainesâÄô voice. ItâÄôs so wispy and candy-sweet that the listener is consistently surprised at the strength behind it. âÄúFantasiesâÄù tends to run together, and songs can be indistinguishable from each other, but as a whole, itâÄôs cohesive, and âÄî better yet âÄî itâÄôs fun.