Elegant and pointed pop on superior Canadian new wavers' full-length debut

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Score 4


Metric – Old World Underground,Where Are You Now?

“All we do is talk, sit, switch screens/As the homeland plans enemies” sings Emily Haines on “Succexy”, with such sweet/sour pith and vinegar she distills all Radiohead’s epic bellyaching into wonderfully succinct pop. You could be forgiven for pegging Metric as skinny-tie Europhiles?in the same vein as fellow Canadians The New Pornographers?if it weren’t for Haines’ majestic scorn. “Combat Baby” (“How I miss your ranting/Do you miss my all-time lows?”) wishes love were more of a battlefield, while coolly suggesting a ‘bring the troops home’ anthem. Haines was once in mellow electro-crooners Stars, and songs like “Calculation Theme” are as poised and poignant as they ever achieved, but it’s when the band get worked up, as on would-be drivetime smash “Dead Disco”, that they come into their own, raging against “dead funk and dead rock’n’roll”. A triumph.