The Rundown: Metric was formed in 1998 in Toronto, Canada. Made up of Emily Haines (vocals/synthesizer/guitar), James Shaw (guitar), Josh Winstead (bass), and Joules Scott-Key (drums), Metric earned a Juno Award nomination in 2003 for their album, “Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?“, released the same year. Since that time, Metric has released three albums: “Live It Out” (2005), “Grow Up and Blow Away” (2007), and “Fantasies” (2009).
In 2010 Metric brought home some shiny trophies from the Juno Awards; one for Alternative Album of the Year (Fantasies) and the other for Group of the Year. Not surprisingly, Metric’s songs have been used extensively by both TV and Hollywood. A good number of Metric’s songs have been used by the likes of Grey’s Anatomy, 90210, One Tree Hill, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, and Zombieland. And as if that kind of exposure wasn’t enough, their songs have also appeared on video games by EA Sports, FIFA 10, Inside Paris, and Test Drive Unlimited. Whew!
Emily Haines’ voice is pretty, soft and sweet. Her songs are usually soft, but some can get pretty rocky. Overall, while I would never flat out call them jazz artists, I would say Metric’s sound certainly incorporates an awful lot of jazz, which adds to the bands dynamics. Along with their excellent live performances, Metric is a full-featured band. Metric has a large number of great songs like, “Help, I’m Alive“, “Succexy“, “IOU” and “Satellite Mind” to name a few. My favorite, however, happens to be “Siamese Cities“.
The song starts off with a soft voiced Emily, some kind of softly used shaker noise-making thing, and an equally soft, but deep, piano. Then the song starts to get a little jazzy/bluesy. The drums kick in with an easy beat. The bass begins a bluesy/jazzy type beat. As the song evolves, there are a couple parts that really grabbed my attention. The first part that really made me like this song was about 45 seconds in when Emily sings “Why’d you leave me” with herself singing the same thing in the background. The “background Emily” is singing in a much higher pitch, and sounds terribly sad and is the dominant part, for that short period of time, of the song. It made my cheeks tingly. (That’s another highly technical and scientific way for me to decide if I like a band. Certain parts of a song that I find really good make my cheeks tingle. A little weird, but effective, nonetheless.)
Additionally, around the 1:29 part of the song where Emily sings “From the street, rock radio plays Crimson and Clover” her backing vocals immediately jump in with “Over and over”, an obvious reference to the Tommy James & The Shondells song “Crimson and Clover” (which is freaking awesome as well). Ahh, simply amazing. And definitely another cheek-tingling moment. “Siamese Cities” is an awesome song and I highly recommend it and the band.
Metric would be a great addition to anyone’s music library, which is why we at MarsBands.com whole heartedly endorse them.