Chances are you're probably already in love with Emily Haines. Remember the breathy whispered vocals of 'Anthems For A Seventeen Year-Old Girl' on Broken Social Scene's stellar 'You Forgot It In People'? She's the woman responsible. Don't expect more of the same spacey atmospherics here, though - 'Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?' is a blend of spunky, synth-laden indie-rock and polished pop, finally available here almost two years after it's stateside release.
With a rhythm section so tight it makes your eyes water and Haines' schizophrenic keyboards, Metric stick to the mathematically structured connotations of their name without being too rigid or soulless. Deadly hi-hats rebound off new wave synths and gently throbbing bass lines to give ten songs that sound fresher and more intelligent than what might be construed as yet more retro-revivalism. 'Hustle Rose is an unfamiliar nightclub on a cold night, a plaintive piano melody laid over rumbling, rolling rhythms which give way to chugging riffing and siren-like synths. 'Succexy' boasts not only a sweetly sibilant chorus as Haines hisses 'Invasion's so succexy' over disco hi-hats, but also lyrical smarts, proving that musicians can talk politics without resorting to tired anti-Bush platitudes.
It's obvious Metric have a knack for creating smart, catchy pop as almost all of these tracks could be destined for singledom. 'Dead Disco' stands out especially with it's bombastic, shout-out-loud chorus and Joules Scott-Key's superb drumming, whilst last years single _'Combat Baby' has already paid its dues with in a flurry of Garbage-like energy. However, while their lyricism and the album title itself seems to crave either a revolution or a return to form ('Wet Blanket' asks if it's 'wrong to want more than a folk song'), there's little experimentation to be found here, meaning some songs fail to make as much impact as their neighbours.
Metric question a lot throughout _'Old World Underground..' from hipsters to fashion magazine rockstars, class and media war coverage, and luckily for them, they have enough tunes, conviction and personality to support it.
7Jesus Chigley's Score