In the last year or so, many Americans have been fired, seen their life savings dwindle or die, and have been told that things will be hard for them, but even harder for their children. Now comes Emily Haines’ indie band Metric, with their first new album since 2005, exploding out of the darkness with pop hooks and a relentlessly chipper attitude. Haines is back to being the pop star we knew on the band’s fantastic debut (Grow Up and Blow Away) and its even better follow up (Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?). “Help, I’m Alive” and “Front Row,” the two well-chosen singles, are easily as good as “Combat Baby” or “Dead Disco,” being that they’re catchy, creative, and irrepressible. The band does what it does best on this record, which is create hooks that are so tight you barely notice them, allowing Haines’ warm and agile voice to shine on every track. Musically, you’ll hear elements of dream pop/shoegaze, but the beat doesn’t slow down. The result is optimism, plain and simple, which is not what you’d expect from the groups’ latest efforts.
For a time, the band got lost, skittering around other projects, with Haines forming Soft Skeleton and Joshua Winstead (bass) and Joules Scott-Key (drums) providing the bottom for Bang Lime. The latter work never really caught fire, and Haines’ solo work alternated between brilliant and boring, but was consistently somber. This was after their uneven, underwhelming 2005 album, Live it Out. So fans of “old” Metric will be understandably cautious about this new album. But I’m here to assure you all: Don’t be. This is what you’d expect from the band circa 2004, and it’s great to have them back.
The album will be released on April 7th, but available digitally on March 31st. You can stream and/or pre-order. Some nice packaged incentives can be found at the band’s website.