Wednesday 30 September 2009

Metric @ The Edge - HMV Picturehouse Edinburgh 25 Aug 2009

Metric are a glitzy band of the electro-rock persuasion, hailing from Toronto, Canada. While Canada for most people, conjures thoughts of Bryan Adams, Avril Lavigne and Nickelback, those familiar with the Broken Social Scene, of which singer Emily Haines and lead guitarist James Shaw are active members, will be less surprised to find Metric as a product the maple leaf nation.

The band are three smart/cas rockers with production leanings fronted by an arty blonde chick in a glittering blue 60s dress short enough that the photographers could see her pants. Their live show had moments of hurtling energy, when they played their hits with vigour and excitement, and moments of pointless noodling. I think the band believed they were creating epic soundscapes and working the audience's emotions with some all-consuming electro vide. The reality was a mediocre riff repeated beyond the point of boredom and irritation, with a totally banterless Emily failing to improv with statements like: "What day is it?" (pause) "What day of the week is it?" (pause) "Tuesday?" (pause) "Is it Tuesday?" (pause) "What happens on Tuesday?" (pause) "What are you guys doing here on a Tuesday?" (pause) "Tuesday." (pause) "What do you do on a Tuesday?" (long pause) "Watch House?"

And of course, the always-classic mood killer "Who has work in the morning?” Thanks for that reminder, Haines!!

Emily did pull some dance moves that were smooth enough to keep the audience's eye, and played some synth parts that were cool enough to keep the audiences ear. And the backing, although partly digitalised and therefore cheating, was pretty tight.

Some highlights of the set were 'Dead Disco', a song which can only unleash its true potential live, so you can hear that guitar punch, the bass buzz and the snare snap. 'Stadium Love', a celebration of noise where Emily lists a bizarre animal battles ("spider vs bat", "owl vs dove"), and 'Help I'm Alive', the lead single from their most recent album, which mixes a slow groove and a guitar pulse with an art-pop melody.
Myke Hall

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