One band I had been interested in hearing for awhile is Canada's Metric. I have several friends who constantly rave about them. I've read several articles praising their efforts. The Toronto Star had an article about them some time last year, an article which, if I remember correctly, hailed them as the best band of some festival in Toronto. Being quite intrigued I decided to check them out. Through Soulseek I came across their unreleased debut album, Grow Up and Blow Away and was quite impressed, especially by the title track. So, just as anybody would do, I sought out more of the band's music and eventually had acquired both Old World Underground, Where Are You Now and Live It Out. And though I was somewhat disappointed that neither of them were as powerful as Grow Up and Blow Away, quite recently I have been warming up to Metric's style of music, particularly on their 2005 offering, Live It Out.
Throughout Live It Out's roughly 40 minute runtime, Metric makes use of a simple, standard, yet enjoyable formula. They combine a variety of genres, most notably new wave synth pop, fast paced alternative rock, and at times post-punk-ish tendencies similar to that of the likes of Interpol. The result of this agglomeration of musical styles is not a sound that hasn't been heard before. But what it does make for is a catchy, fun, relaxing listen, something I readily enjoy. Throughout Live It Out, Metric conjures up a variety of emotions to enhance the listening experience of the record. But whatever type of atmosphere they shoot for; a fun, upbeat, guitar based experience as in Monster Hospital; a mysterious, ambient album opener in Empty; the soft, crooning Police and the Private; the charming attitudes of the title track; the band manages to sound fresh and interesting. A major part of Metric's sound is vocalist Emily Haines. The band's focal point, Haines gives Metric its two most important strengths. The vocals and the song writing. Similarly to Metric's musical output, Emily makes use of several vocal styles. The most notable of these being that of a sleazy, uncontrolled wail (think Karen O.) and a softer, calmer singing style. And again, like her band's music, though Haines' vocal techniques might not be the most original in the Indie scene but they're still quite powerful at delivering the group's message.
As for the ten tracks to be found on Live It Out, well, a couple of them are a bit sub-par (I'm looking at you Too Little Too Late). But I vast majority of Metric's efforts are quite enjoyable and leading the fray is quite easily Police and the Private. The album's eight track is built around the crooning vocals of Emily Haines and a simple, yet very effective keyboard line. One of, if not the most laidback, relaxing track on the album, Police and the Private do a rather excellent job displaying Emily's vocal talents, as she her efforts are what gives the song that extra oomph that makes it one of the most enjoyable to listen to. And of course, just as every ying has its yang, Police and the Private has Monster Hospital. The polar opposite of the former track, Monster Hospital is showcases Metric's faster side. Driven more by the band as a whole, rather than just the vocal efforts of Haines, the band's energetic, up beat rock influences shine through here. Perhaps the standout moment of Monster Hospital would be Emily shouting "I fought the war, I fought the war but the war won"
over the fuzzy sounding guitars which help mould together the main rhythm of the track. Monster Hospital is probably the song which best showcases the ideals of Live It Out; a fun enjoyable listen which any fan of indie pop could get into.
Looking back, I'm quite glad that I decided to give Metric a shot. Their music may not be revolutionary or innovative, but it is definitely a blast to listen to. Both Old World Underground and Live It Out took a few listens to get used to, especially compared to Grow Up and Blow Away, but once I became more acquainted with the sound that the Toronto based band had to offer, I began to greatly appreciate it. Whether it be through the mysterious, yet upbeat songs, the mellow, relaxing tracks, or the energetic rockers, Metric's live it up is a very the entertaining album. Definitely check it out if you're a fan of indie pop.
Police and the Private
Poster of a Girl