Synthetica's lost kitten
Emily Haines is one talented chick, no doubt. And I’ve long spotted Metric as modern pop’s most intriguingly melodic bands, able to consistently feed their audience with cool, enticing records.
The first time I saw them live, after the release of 2005's Live It Out, didn’t quite sweep me off my pop feet (though I wouldn't necessarily have anything negative to say either). This time round, however, found them in much better form; and with much better material, having added a few pretty descent records to their catalog since. Their brand new release Synthetica was blatantly the focus, with a wicked eponymous track, alongside Lost Kitten, Artificial Nocturne, Speed The Collapse and other good ones; though they skipped on (the rather unremarkable) Wanderlust, their collaboration with rock's notorious giant Lou Reed. Older picks included killer Dead Disco, Gold Guns Girls, Help I'm Alive and Monster Hospital.
Haines also makes for an interesting performer - not going to extreme ends, but rocking with style. She does, however, make me wonder about her pretty-girl inhibitions, for which she's more or less become the focus of this review. A lot of the time her voice rings like that of a vulnerable sex kitten, unnecessarily girly and fragile, especially for her rocking strengths; which makes me wonder if, despite her character, she eventually gets trapped in her own image. A pity since, when she decides to get sinister (like in Dead Disco) she nails it. There are plenty of pretty-girly vocals out there that sound wild - Glass Candy's Ida No, for one. When Haines wants to, she can sound wild; and beautifully mature, as proven by her version of Gimme Sympathy live on Jools Holland.
Lou Reed is, apparently, a fan, which is no small thing. Metric do have the know-how, the energy and fucking good pop songs to put up a memorable gig. If that’s the vocals that naturally come out of their lead singer, well, they wouldn’t be my first choice; but, in the end, they hardly diminish their shows' - and their records'- quality.
Review by Danai Molocha (photography fished from the web)