Emily Haines should probably go in for a chest X-ray. According to Fantasies opener “Help I’m Alive,” she can hear her heart “beating like a hammer” — a possible symptom of cardio-related illness. We can safely rule out arrhythmia, however, because Metric pounds out a lock-step rhythmic groove that is impossible to deny — even when their sterile, radio-ready riffs don’t hit as hard as Haines’s plaintive lyrics. (Exception: the soaring, majestic chorus of “Sick Muse” is quite possibly the cure for clinical depression.)
While Haines kicks her bandmates’ asses on rockers like “Gold Guns Girls” and “Satellite Mind,” she’s more effective when she doesn’t have to work so hard to be heard. On “Collect Call,” the rhythm section cools off, giving lines like “keep me closer / I’m a lazy dancer / When you move, I move with you” room to resonate.