Friday, 29 January 2016

Metroland's New Album "Things Will Never Sound The Same Again" Reviewed

Metroland return with their 3rd album "Things Will Never Sound The Same Again". It's no ordinary album as it came about after the unexpected passing of Louis Zachert, their sound engineer in August of last year. Louis was not only an important cog in the Metroland sound, he was also a friend of both members stretching back many years. This is their way of paying tribute to him.

The opening track "Tune In" is an interesting idea as it is someone tuning an old radio, various snippets of radio stations are heard and if you listen carefully you will hear a very brief clip of the Metroland track "The Passenger", which was Louis's favourite Metroland track. Next is "Vie (mental impressions reproduced by electronic means)", which has a haunting choral intro and breathing sound effects, punctured by a sequenced bass-line, it's a moody reflective track, then part way through the dynamics of the track change and it develops into a more upbeat song, with an obvious nod in the direction of both Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre.

"Synthetic Sound" is trademark Metroland, fantastic sequencer elements and good use of Vocal samples, the rhythm track holds everything together perfectly, one of my favourite tracks on the album.

The start of the next track "Good Moaning", definitely has a Kraftwerk influence on it with the string sounds, yet again brilliant sequenced sections, it's another fairly upbeat song and fans of their previous work will love this track, It's a song that could quite easily have fitted nicely on their "Triadic Ballet" album. "This Little Thingy" instantly reminded me of classic Jean Michel Jarre, in fact I can hear quite a lot of a Jean Michel Jarre influence on this album. A sequencer riff develops nicely and is joined by more sequencer patterns, I've said it before and will say it again Metroland are, without doubt, one of the best bands out there for creating catchy sequencer lines, they take over a normal melody line to such good effect.

"Brother" definitely has a very personal touch about it, especially the title and the haunting vocal line. A very uplifting track, beautifully constructed. I'm really impressed with this track. It is fitting this track is followed by the title track "Things Will Never Sound The Same Again" which is a statement to show how important Louis was to the Metroland sound. Some brilliant layered strings add to the mood of the song, some really good percussion effects on this track and a great bass-line as well.

"Music Machine" has a very erie start, clever use of vocal samples again and the melody hook synth is quite brilliant and unexpected, it's almost a song that is a celebration, (listen to it and you will understand what I mean), it's a fantastic upbeat track and one of the stand out tracks on the album, superb!!!. Next is the single "Under The Roof", the title of this track is important as it was the name of Louis's recording studio, the track has a similar feel and mood to the tracks recorded for "Triadic Ballet", awash with more outstanding sequencer programming, and the main melody line is one of those you just find yourself whistling or humming, I wasn't sure it was the best choice for the single at first, but after several listens you understand why they chose it.

Now I was blown away by the track "Utopia" off the "Triadic Ballet" album (It was the Number 2 track of 2015 in White Lion Radio's end of year chart) and then I heard "Quo Vardis", best compliment I can give this track is this, it is the best Kraftwerk sounding track they have recorded to date. You have the trademark sequencers but it is the lead synths that take your breath away, they are astounding and a thing of beauty and the way the track ends is "so Kraftwerk", this is one of Metrolands top 3 tracks of all time.

The album closes with a reprise of "Never Again" with a piano lead, a superb way to end the album.

As a complete body of work this is a wonderful tribute to Louis Zachert.

Metroland have produced another gem of an album, which was extremely enjoyable from start to finish and something that i'm sure Louis would be proud of, well done Metroland.


The album is out on the 16th February and is available on CD here and Digital Download here

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