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Metronomy - Nights Out | Debauched And Detuned

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Artist: Metronomy
Album: Nights Out
Label: Because Music
Release Date: September 8th, 2008

The notion of letting it all hang out—whether it be inharmonious or just flat-out detuned—has never sounded so appealing. And as cliched as it may be, the sentiment rings true for Metronomy. The well-coiffed London-by-way-of-Devon electronic outfit simply radiate madcap mischief and a futuristic sense of pop hauteur.

Nights Out, Metronomy's highly anticipated second full length, is a bustling show-stopper injected with rickety synthesizers, jolting bass and uneven guitar lines. Their idiosyncratic sound, as demonstrated in the back-to-back hits "Radio Ladio," "My Heart Rate Rapid" and "Heartbreaker," is as groundbreaking as it is overdue. Everything jangles in harmony ever-so-slightly, as though its connected in a tenuous way. And every last pitch-altered component is a convoluted and wild ride unto itself.

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But never before has the exaggerated warping of sounds been utilized in such a purposive, methodical manner. Even instrumental songs, like "The End of You Too" and "Side 2," carry a thread of structure amidst the dance-floor chaos. Kaleidoscopic swirls of caustic synths and breathy melodicas intermingle with relentless, drumline-esque beats, which tend to texturize the relatively frayed hodgepodge at hand.

Metronomy - "Heartbreaker"

And yet the apocalyptically dark humor, however slight or severe, is the true pièce de résistance—a delightful assault on the senses. The album's leading track, "Holiday," taps into the rather smart-alecky undertones which run throughout this electronic oeuvre like veins: "I've been watching my money/ watching my money/ Save, saving up for a holiday." More often than not, you find front man and creative force Joseph Mount jibing in this unconcealed, sardonic manner.

Very seldom does an electronic artist explore the underbelly of music. And it's plain to see that Metronomy's most endearing attribute is their willingness to experiment—their willingness to constrain the unknown. But, ultimately, it is their ability to weave these seemingly incongruous, tempered timbres together in an unambiguous form that constitutes the chief pleasure of Nights Out.