Old World Underground, Where Are You Now



by Scott Herren USER (42 Reviews)
October 8th, 2005 | 18 replies

Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

I never get tired of bands fronted by good looking women. In fact I tend to overlook flaws that would otherwise be annoying just because there is more entertainment value than just the music. What first got me into Metric was a video for their song I.O.U., and the music overall wasn't too memorable, but one thing that stood out to me was the energy of Emily Haines. I proceeded to check them out further, prompting me to purchase this fine album.

It isn't earth shattering. It is nothing I haven't heard before, in fact it blends in rather easily with the other dancey bands coming around in the last several years (Liars, !!!, The Faint, etc.). But you see, none of them are fronted by women, so what do I care? But in all seriousness, this album has a few very good songs which I believe outshine anything from the other dance punk bands of this era, and for that reason alone is worth a purchase.

Now, about the album. The general feel that I get from this record is that Metric have an axe to grind. Well, that isn't exactly true, I got that message rather clearly in videos for "Combat Baby" and "Succexy". I suppose it wouldn't come as a huge shock to anyone who has seen those videos that this record has a strong anti-war undertone.

"I.O.U." gets the party started, and poses as a rather straightforward punk rock song. It merges nicely from major to minor chords and implements a simple piano piece mirrored by the bass guitar and some electronic sounding parts near the end.

Anti-War Lyric Watch - Every ten year-old enemy soldier thinks falling bombs are shooting stars sometimes. But she doesn't make wishes on them. When she wishes, she wishes for less ways to wish for, more ways to work toward it.

The fact that “Hustle Rose”, the albums second song, wasn’t a single is a crime, as it is easily the best song on the album. It begins with a choppy synth and an keyboard mimicking Emily’s melodic singing of “Now that your wallet is all lit up” repeated many times. Then the synth fades out and it is just a beautiful melody by Emily and a simple guitar part. Then at the 1:30 mark the song takes on a magical feel to it for a while. Then at the 3:30 mark it gets rockier with a heavy guitar. All in all it could be several songs rolled into one epic one.

“Succexy” is the first obviously anti-war song on the album. Musically it is pretty solid, in fact it is one of the highlights of the album. There are nice harmonized vocals, and the guitar and synths are also solid.

Anti-War Lyric Watch - Let's drink to the military. The glass is empty. Faces to fill and cars to feed. Nothing could beat complete denial. All we do is talk, sit, switch screens as the homeland plans enemies. Invasion's so succexxy…Passive attraction, programmed reaction.

“Combat Baby” is one of the more popular Metric songs and one of the videos that got me into them. It is pretty strong vocally with several parts that ensnare me, particularly the do-do-do parts and the parts where Emily dances. But yeah, anyway musically this is a great song too :).

Anti-War Lyric Watch - They try to kick it, their feet fall asleep. I want to be wrong but no one here wants to fight me like you do

“Calculation Theme” is an odd song that is a bit boring musically. The one part that stands out to me is the lyric “Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost ‘where is the love’. Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost who put these bodies between us”.

Anti-War Lyric Watch - Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost ‘where is the love’. Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost who put these bodies between us .

“Wet Blanket” and “On a Slow Night” are going to be left off of this review because quite frankly I don’t like these songs.

“The List” is in my opinion the next song worth listening to. It is a fast paced, up tempo master piece that just keeps building to a point where I don’t think Emily can keep up with herself trying to sing as the song just takes on a frantic pace and it becomes a pretty rocking song.

“Dead Disco” is another pretty solid song. It is driven by distorted guitar and a methodical bass line. The last half of the album doesn’t have the great songs that the first half does, and “Dead Disco” falls into the category of a good song. It’s great to listen to and all, but there isn’t that thing that makes me want to listen to it again, but if it is on it’s good. You know what I mean, it just doesn’t have much in the way of replay value because it sounds like a lot of the other electro-dance songs out there.

The album ends with “Love is a Place”, a song that starts out nice and soft with the focus on the vocals. The guitars maintain happy equilibrium with major and minor keys. It is a ok song overall, but as an album closer, I would have liked something a little longer and more powerful.

My only complaint with this album is the major drop off in song quality from the first to the second half of the album. Still I believe it is worth it to give the first half of the album a listen, because of the standout tracks.

The Sexy Emily – Vocals, Synth
Jimmy – Guitar
Josh – Bass
Joules – Drums

Recommended Tracks:

“Hustle Rose”
“Combat Baby”
“The List”



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user ratings (287)
other reviews of this album
Two-Headed Boy (3.5)

Townsendium (3)
How can the same track appear on the same album twice? Yeah, every track sounds pretty much the same...

Comments:Add a Comment 
October 9th 2005


Good review. I have never heard this band but I was intrigued by the cover art at the home page. The cover shows Emily, I assume?

Scott Herren
October 9th 2005


Album Rating: 4.0

That is the truth.

October 9th 2005


Mr. Herren! Of all people, I thought you would've been kind enough to put the line-up at the bottom of the page.

Other than that, great review.

October 9th 2005


this album is secks

October 9th 2005


The singer is HAWT. I don't like the music but she's reason enough to watch their videos.

October 9th 2005


Album Rating: 3.0

I saw them live a while ago, and dayyummmmmmm the lead singer was lookin fine...

October 9th 2005


ha new phrase

She so fine she metric

October 11th 2005


I love this album and band. Good review Scotty.

I've also gotta agree...I love Emily This Message Edited On 10.11.05

February 4th 2006


Album Rating: 4.0

This album is pretty nice, I enjoy it a lot! Good review, but i have to say that wet blanket is actually one of my favorite song on the album.

Two-Headed Boy
February 28th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

Emily is a good singer. Nothing else, too me.

This album is a very nice listen, with no bad tracks.

Good review, my man!

Two-Headed Boy
March 18th 2006


Album Rating: 2.5

But, c'mon, Succexy is the best song on here by a longshot.

March 19th 2006


i agree

March 19th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

You don't like Wet Blanket? I think its great... Up there with Hustle Rose, Succexy, Combat Baby, and Dead Disco. Those songs were all the highlights live too.

Anyway, I absolutely love this album. And I think Emily ranks up there with my favorite female singers. She's also too beautiful to be hot if you know what I mean.

June 26th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Old World > Live It Out


August 16th 2006


Wow you do like interrogation points.
Nice review, OK album but nothing changing my music vision.
I agree it gets boring at half the album except for dead disco.
I like the instrumental parts now and then they can build up to a certain degree of power.

August 18th 2006


i like the songs i heard from this. they're better then the ones i herad from live it out. And yeah emily is hot. nice review.

August 19th 2006


I never get tired of bands fronted by good looking women

Which red blooded male does! Emily is pretty damn hot though and their new record sounds very promising

By the way, seeing as we're on the subject of frontwomen. Has anyone noticed the resemblance between Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher? come on! they could by mother and daughter or something!

August 28th 2010


Album Rating: 5.0

If somebody put a gun to my head and demanded my favourite album of the 2000s I'd probably pick this.

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