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Metric: Formentera Album Review | Fork

In 2003, Metric arrives with a bitter look in the rearview mirror. “Dead disco/Dead funk/Dead rock and roll/Remodel/Everything was done,” spat Emily Haines on “Dead Disco,” one of the band’s first Canadian radio hits. By that time, they had already been through record label hell. First, they had agreed to a short development deal with Warner Bros. in 2000 which resulted in a demo called Mainstream EPs and their supposed debut album Grow and blow, then had joined independent label Restless to release the album in 2001, only then for that label to be sold that year to another label called Ryko Corp., leading to this album remaining unreleased for the full six years following. (Ryko Corp. was later acquired by Warner Music Group in 2005.) It took a brand new label (Everloving), and a brand new album, to Old World Underground, where are you now? eventually released as Metric’s debut album. They were, understandably, a little jaded about the whole thing.

Today, nearly 20 years later, the band have become an icon of Canadian indie rock, while continuing to play smartly on the romantic nostalgia of the “old world underground” that could still afford to be picky about ” sale “. They also put their money where their mouth is, launching their own label Metric Music International (MMI) working on 2009’s Fantasies while turning down a few multi-million dollar offers from the majors in the process. For those following in their footsteps, however, the patchwork approach to artist development and financial support has only intensified since the early 2000s, when the music industry was still full of money and ready to go. taking risks on talents, and was not beholden herself. to the heavy economics of streaming. Not only is it harder to say “our band could be your life”, but it’s harder for most bands to support their own life, not to mention making their career a cause or a statement of values. It is in this increasingly precarious space that Metric’s eighth album, Formentera, happens, echoing memes about frivolous spending in the years that masked the ever-growing distance between young adults and homeownership. On Formentera, The metrics are obsessed with the quick and quiet retraction of the ladder that allowed them to ascend, and the strangeness for new listeners of the path they took to reach that senior status.

“Doomscroller”, the over 10-minute krautrock-lite opener, is the main attraction here. Anchored by an undulating bassline that erupts with bursts of noise and backed by a softly sung anthem to the “salt of the earth underpaid to serve and clean toilets” and their fight against the “ruling class stuff”.[ing] piss in champagne glasses,” the song takes a class struggle subtext and renders it as bold, underlined text. This new intensity carries over to the rest of the album, relying on tools such as funk-rock bass fuzz and double-beat drum sections to accentuate an ever-present sense of restlessness. “False Dichotomy” weaves a new wave fuzz with a wavy synth line that sounds like it could be pulled straight from Prince’s “Delirious”. He revels in the contradictions of the rock celebrity, who ostensibly rebels against conformity but often creates his own consumerist trappings along the way: “Show me something that can’t be bought/It’s harder than I thought so,” Haines sings in a menacing but celebratory tone.