Summer 08 is either a happy coincidence or a knowingly frank title; Metronomy’s fifth record does little to push the band further into the stratosphere but zips them back to their heyday of batshit synth in 2008’s Nights Out.
Lead single, ‘Old Skool’, is a shuffling track about materialistic lives, the type to throw jealous glares across the dance floor at a party whilst holding your martini in hand. “Make some money, make more money / With your new friends throw a party” frontman and Metronomy mastermind Joe Mount repeats but he’s still not one to be taken too seriously. ‘Miami Logic’ has a synth line plucked from even further than ’08, with a sickly sweet chorus that Yazoo would be proud of and Swedish singer, Robyn’s, intermittent guest vocals in ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ are ones which belong in the same shelf as The Human League’s ‘Don’t You Want Me’.
Metronomy have continued to use an array of different instruments with the customary bongos in ’16 Beat’ turning into a ripped cassette from a Grand Theft Auto late night cruise. ‘Night Owl’ continues the drive with Mount appearing a lonely soul recalling a lost flame amongst the dazzling synth: “I’ll take the feelings that I wish I never had / You take your favourite band, that shit was always bad.” It plods along at a similar pace to 2011’s ‘The Bay’ only to breakdown too soon as the album peter’s out with ‘Summer Jam’; an sleek and sexy instrumental circus.
With no plans for the full band to perform the album live anytime soon, Mount may have provided us with what seems more like a tasty mixtape. Despite having its pick me up moments, Summer 08 often buffers when Mount’s ego and subtle digs aren’t matched with sassy bass lines and succinct synths.