Not Fit For Love is a minor watershed moment for Metronomy, as this EP is the first release from Metronomy HQ since band member Gabriel Stebbing left to concentrate on Your Twenties – even though Joseph Mount remains the core of the outfit. Listeners of the last record, the rather good Nights Out from last year, will be looking to see if this EP can build on the album’s successes, too.
In that sense, Not Fit For Love takes a slightly odd, and slightly schizophrenic new direction. Not schizophrenic in the sense of Nights Out, which went a little that way vocally on a couple of songs – but in terms of mood. By way of explanation – there are nine tracks here, three of which are new ones in a more lo-fi and morose style than before, and six of which are much louder and more frenetic remixes of those tracks. It’s easiest to get the remixes out of the way first – they’re not the focus of this EP, even if they take up most of its length. They sound like an add-on, a bonus – which they aren’t really, as they’re largely a total waste of time. Arbitrarily clubbed-up and drawn out into incoherence, they break the melancholic feel of the tracks in a twisted effort to shoehorn them onto the dancefloor. The Leo Zero remix of the title track in particular is a spectacularly complete waste of more than eleven minutes.
The actual tracks themselves though, are more interesting. Far from going for a bigger and better verion of Nights Out‘s approach, Mount and co have chosen to go in a slightly different, more minimalist approach. The lyrics are as romantically uneasy and confused as the titles suggest – “What Do I Do Now?” and “Do The Right Thing” particularly. Accordingly, the vocals, synths and beats are all more restrained than pretty much anything on Nights Out. Whilst this small collection of songs lacks a “Heartbreaker” or a “A Thing For Me” it does display a mode Metronomy haven’t really displayed before. That mode might not get pulses racing as much as anything else Mount and comrades have done (hence, presumably, the largely misguided remixes), but come the next album it could provide a refreshing counterpoint.