Monday, January 18, 2010

Paced on a Runaway Train: The METRIC Engine

Well, after listening to their CD on repeat for the entire summer, I finally saw Metric perform live this past month. An insane set, headed by Emily Haines (vocals, synthesizer, guitar) and rocked out by lead guitarist James Shaw, bassist Josh Winstead, and drummer Joules Scott-Key, left me with the same burning question I had had since June: why isn’t this band HUGE? Sure, some of the biggest songs from their fourth and most well circulated studio album Fantasies have been featured on the prime time TV show set, from Grey’s Anatom

y andCSI to Entourage and Gossip Girl, with a few video game features in between.

But a band that manages to retain thoughtful lyrics and indie rock cred without sounding sleepy or repetitive? A band with concert light shows reminiscent of a Parisian discotheque that sounds every bit as haunting and lively (antonyms only in lesser talents) live? These Canadian superstars should be topping charts on I-tunes by now. If you love music, you probably know who Metric is. But if you like music, you should know who Metric is. If you find organized sound remotely tolerable you should know who Metric is. But this is not, as of yet, the case.

Perhaps the issue is poor management decisions. While they are steadily picking up steam and fans as their unique sounds garners appearances on an increasing number of screen genres, a national tour might have been a bit preemptive. There was a decent sized group of hipsters and other indie cronies yelling alongside me at their performance in Connecticut, and I’m

sure more of the like at their shows in Bostonand New York City, but these are people who already know they have more to offer than their few radio plays. A stint as an introductory act for a more well known band’s national Headline might have been a more sensible endeavor, expanding their still limited fan base and allowing them to reach a larger populace come their time as a starring act across the fifty (okay, 48 because we’ll assume Hawaii and Alaska are getting the shaft) states.

At least you guys know about them now! Hope you’ll check them out because, for serious, good stuff. And poor or fantastic management decisions aside, I’ve no doubt Metric is on the rise because they’re simply too talented and stylish, in dress, performance, and of course their jams, to be headed in any other direction.

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