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Metric



The name Metric gives them away as proud Canadians, but in fact Emily Haines and James Shaw are musical nomads whose adventures have taken them from Montreal to Brooklyn to London to Brooklyn to Toronto to Los Angeles. Their itinerant lifestyle has kept them from getting too closely tied to any scene or style (though they have collaborated with Canadian brethren Broken Social Scene and Stars), while forging a tight relationship.

Now a quartet based in LA, Metric doesn't attempt anything too outré, while working well within their means, playing to their obvious strengths. These lie in making hook-filled, utterly infectious spiky pop songs, with a heavy dose of new wave sass, courtesy of Haines's synth stylings and tight, funky rhythms hammered out by drummer Joules Scott-Key and bassist Josh Winstead. Haines is a great frontwoman, alternately sarcastic, spunky, and sad. The band's second album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now, reveals her strength as a social commentator, as she offers pointed remarks about everything from scenesterdom to contemporary politics. Metric may not be the most ambitious band in the world, but they do what they do extremely well, and you'll fall in love fast.