Live It Out
by Katie Sauro
Following in the footsteps of musical matriarchs like Gwen Stefani (back in the early No Doubt days, not so much now), Shirley Manson, and Karen O., is Metric’s Emily Haines, lead vocalist and keyboardist for the Canadian dance-pop quartet.
Metric combines an 80s new-wave sound with sharp guitar licks and plenty of reverb, that, along with Haines’ vocals, cloying and pretty at times, rough and edgy at others, culminates in powerful punk-tinged electro-pop. A critical darling since their full-length debut in 2003, their recently-released second album, Live It Out, demonstrates why they were able to garner such praise, and why they will continue to—incredibly smart lyrics, catchy hooks, and an unshakeable energy that is equally edgy and endearing.
On Live It Out, the band draws from far-reaching influences to create their masterful electro-pop. Take for example “Handshakes,” a post-punk new-wave track that combines fast Strokes-like guitar and heavy synths, or the echo-y Brit-pop sounds of “Ending Start.” On one of the more punk-heavy songs on the album, “Monster Hospital,” Haines takes a page from the Clash with the repeated refrain, “I fought the war but the war won.” And on “Poster of a Girl” Metric combines Haines’ sultry French whispers and synths with ABBA-infused disco. Not joking. But it works.
Other highlights on the album include the biting vocals, crunchy guitar, and staccato rhythms of the title track, and the slower tempo of “The Police and the Private,” on which Haines’ voice loses its edginess, becoming caressingly sweet and vulnerable.
Live It Out is a gem of an album, an eclectic mix of dance-pop and punk that will have you up and shaking it in no time, perfect for fans of New Order, and more recently, Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
The new album is available now—so go buy it. And while you’re at it, check out when they will be coming to a town near you. More information and tour dates can be found at their website: http://www.ilovemetric.com/