Renowned for the reign of Myspace, a global economic downturn and a newly elected London Major, most wouldn’t associate the infamously glum year of 2008 with the fleeting new-rave scene. However, it was in this period of time that the mutinously frenetic sub-genre took indie crowds by storm.
In supporting the spearhead of The Klaxons ‘Myths Of The Near Future’ and the Late of The Pier’s ‘Black Fantasy Channel’, Metronomy’s breakthrough record, ‘Nights Out’, saw Joe Mount join the party with his very own brand of scruffy synth-pop. Eight years and two conceptual albums later, Mount releases a party-ready slab of electro-pop that is simply an exceptional return to form.
It’s bombastic nature, initiated from the off in warped new-rave banger ‘Back Together’, is instantly reminiscent of Metronomy’s breakthrough album. But it’s the tone of the records that differ most. Where Mount’s second offering is scuzzy, maximalist and rough around the edges, ‘Summer 08’ is refined with crystal clear production and a layered composition.
Following ’16 Beat’, the album’s incredible highlight, a somewhat explosive start begins to mellow during the more ambient ‘Hang Me out to Dry’ and ‘Mick Slow’ – the latter self-proclaimed as the ‘best produced’ Metronomy track ever. And rightly so – its bulgy, gurgling bassline swirls gorgeously alongside glittering synths. It’s almost an evolution of ‘Love Letters’’ standout track ‘I’m Aquarius’, a similar idea but with more creative and progressive production values.
After cooling the pace further with ‘Night Owl’ and ‘Love’s Not an Obstacle’, the albums final track, ‘Summer Jam’, appears to fittingly encapsulate the mission statement of ‘Summer 08’. Sandwiched by opening and concluding bars of ‘English Riviera’-reminiscent soulfulness, scrambling organs run parallel with a soaring lead synth squelch– a real throwback to pre-2011 bedroom production days.
It’s an offering that doesn’t have, for better or for worse, the endlessly worked-into feel of preceding albums by self-proclaimed perfectionist Mount. It’s clearly a reactionary stab, a record that is contrapuntal in many ways to 2014 release ‘Love Letters’. A thirst to explore new territories has been quenched in the last 7 years, and now this edition is the work of a man accepting what his project is. ‘Summer 08’ is, at least for fans picked up way back in the noughties, finally Metronomy being Metronomy again.
This Metronomy Review was written by Jordan Foster, a Gigsoup Contributor. Edited by Stephen Butchard.