Completely out of nowhere, Metronomy have just released a new EP. It’s the first fruit of their new line-up, and it’s a decidely different offering to Nights Out. In fact, it verges closer to the lo-fi (hell, it’s relative!) of their debut album Pip Paine (Pay Back The £5000 You Owe). Kind of. Well actually not really; the Not Made For Love EP is an interesting stopgap with not too much indication of what the future holds.
Title track ‘Not Made For Love’ feels restrained. It’s a slow-builder, with the line “you made a big mistake” repeated over an ever-building cross-section of lines into a still-pared down climax. The sound comes together masterfully, staccato rhythms dropping in and out over the top of delirious in-unison syncopation. Thoughts, hopes or fears that the addition of a drummer in the live show would turn Metronomy into a guitar band seem to have been royally dismissed.
For an EP, there’s a shedload of variation here. ‘What Do I Do Now’ has heavily vocoder’ed vocals on the frontline, just to throw in an example. The roboticism drops in and out at rapid fire, before and after being hit with a pared down electronic fugue. Not only does this track bring to mind Felix Mendelssohn, but Electrelane’s ‘Eight Steps’. Has this combination been attempted before? Probably not, but no wonder why; it’s not entirely convincing and feels like the peak never quite kicks in. Nonetheless, it’s a symbol for Metronomy’s frightening display of variation – what the heck can we expect from the next album?
‘Do The Right Thing’, a far closer cry to the party-starting antics of the last album, is another indicator. It’s lyrically more sensitive, Mount pondering what he owes a certain someone in a form of call-and-response. He’s faced with a double-tracked falsetto backing vocal incessantly crying “the right thing, the right thing now” like a voice inside his head. It’s got the addictive loops of ‘Holiday’ after a Kraftwerk-ish opening four bars, before going all Hot Chip. ‘Do The Right Thing’ is easier to take in than the other two non-remix tracks on the Not Made For Love EP, yet still one of Metronomy’s most sparse songs to date.
There’s less desire to peak so obviously here, yet more flux and an equal amount of aural MSG. The six remixes of ‘Not Made For Love’ include one by Leo Zero curiously sitting somewhere in between Cher’s ‘Believe’ and stoner-rock on the moon. Whatever happens next, it seems we’ll certainly be kept on our toes – and on our toes, dancing. Hell yes.