Metric, Old World Underground Where Are You Now? (Everloving)

The first line of Metric’s debut album — also its title — pleads for the simplicity of the past. It’s a theme slightly paradoxical to Metric’s keyboard-laced futuristic pop, yet it pervades throughout the ten tracks here. But then, their music gives off a classy, anachronistic vibe thanks in large part to Emily Haines’s cool, measured vocals.

Metric’s songs often press on beyond a reasonable three minutes but thanks to winding arrangements that always return to the coolest parts of the songs and their super-stylish presentation, they could double the length of most of their tracks without wearing out their welcome.

“IOU” starts the album at a quick pace but slows to half time for an extended b-section. Wandering back to the introductory pace, Metric draw the audience in and relieve any frustration the wandering might have caused.

James Shaw’s guitar and Josh Winstead’s bass play together so tightly that they’re often just one timbre and occasionally play such smooth, even tones that you can’t pick them apart from Haines’s keyboard. Joules Scott-Key’s drums are economic and solid behind the textured lead instruments. Their whole sound pulsates and reels you in but never loses its cool.

“Dead Disco” is a perfect example of their energetic yet restrained attack. Hyper-kinetic, with a perfect shout in the chorus, the song excites without becoming over-excited. It parties without leaving a mess.

“Succexy” and “Combat Baby” are the heart of the record with their new wave disco beats, sexy music and undeniable hooks. But “Hustle Rose” shows off Haines’s hypnotic voice and drones itself right into your cold, black heart.

RIYL: Stereolab, Elastica’s debut, Blondie, Unrest, The Strokes’ debut, The Cars, Enon, Cardigans’ Gran Turismo

[Review for NashvilleZine.]