Live it out
Metric’s website claims the group has played 450 shows since 2002. That explains a lot about their increased popularity, since the release of the indie-synth-rock gem Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? in 2003. It also explains the sound of the new record Live it Out, produced by guitarist Jimmy Shaw in between tours. The band now sports a harder, staccato punk varnish, better representing the energy of the live show which was missing from the last album. If the accessibility of Old World got the crowds dancing, the up-tempo pulse of Live it Out will have them pogo-ing. Even slower songs such as “Too Little, Too Late” push the material forward, whereas quieter moments in the past tended to drag. Although the songs are rarely longer than four minutes, Metric has taken a cue from their cohorts in Broken Social Scene, challenging themselves to expand the music, incorporating time changes, guitar solos and a tendency to ignore verse-chorus-verse structure. Charismatic Haines still hushes, growls and sings her way through satires on war (“Monster Hospital”), suburban life (“Patriarch on a Vespa”) and a search for emotional comfort in a modern world (“Poster of a Girl,” “Ending Start”). But it’s the band’s growth that keeps everything together and has listeners hitting repeat to grasp the new-found nuances. Nothing here is as accessible as Old World’s “Combat Baby” or “Dead Disco,” but Live It Out is more of what fans and converts have come to expect. Metric’s jump to stardom starts here.