Review: Rakib Erick’s ‘Metafiction’

Rakib Erick

Perth singer-songwriter Rakib Erick has released his debut new album Metafiction. The long-awaited full length record follows on from a series of singles from the multi-talented artist, who has been active in the local scene for several years now as an award-winning filmmaker and music video director.

Rakib Erick’s path to Metafiction has shaped its sound and character. Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Erick moved to Australia as a teenager. He began experimenting with different compositions and sounds from a young age, over the years building upon his rock and metal roots into areas of indie rock and synthwave.

Rakib Erick previously gave us a taste of his music with self-directed video clips for AOA and Old Rained Shoes, the first singles released ahead of the album.

AOA (which stands for ‘Age of Anxiety’), is an apt opener for the record. Erick originally wrote the song back in 2010 as a teenager but picked it up again to truly finish it when the pandemic hit in 2020. You can hear some of Erick’s formative influences in the mix, like Arctic Monkeys and Angles-era The Strokes, but unlike most rock bands, Erick deftly colours the vocals with distortion and other effects.

This is followed by Avant-Garde, more of a straight and driving rock song with a slick guitar riff and a heavier drum beat, while Memories of the Future kicks off with more ambient tones that unfurl into an expansive chorus and overdriven guitars.

Old Rained Shoes effortlessly glides along, as seemingly disparate pieces lock into place, while Penrose Stairs features more chops and changes, and the reference to the album’s title “This is Metafiction in your own way.” As is common throughout the record, the song features unexpected chord changes or drum rolls, as Rakib Erick continues to push his own creative boundaries.

Dhaka City Riverfront introduces some cool percussive rhythms, and guest guitarist Imran Ahmed who provides two glistening guitar solos. Another local talent that adds to the recording is vocalist Megan Kozak, who provides wonderful vocals Essence and An Open Letter.

Metafiction has the feel of a solo endeavour, but that’s not to say Rakib Erick could have done it alone. The multi-talented Rakib performed the vocals and guitar on all tracks in demo form before presenting them to Mason Vellios who did all the producing, engineering and mixing on the record, except the vocal recording and mixing which was done by Sheldon Yeoman at Levels Studio. The record was mastered by Andrew Wright at Forest Studio while the striking cover art comes courtesy of Patrick Ennis and Ish Marrington.

Metafiction borrows ideas from across enough genres of music that it could suffer from an identity crisis, but this turns out to be its greatest strength. With considered songwriting at the helm, its an edifying journey through Rakib Erick’s world – a world that reveals more about the artist, and his music, with every visit.