By Tara Schoenborn
New Wave/indie rock band Metric keeps its usual sounds while adding social commentary in its latest album.
Although the band has been around since the late ’90s, Metric showed in 2012 that the Canadian indie rock and New Wave band is not going anywhere. This past June, Metric released its fifth album, Synthetica. The record keeps with the band’s traditional synth guitar mix and dance-like, pop rock sound. However, Synthetica is different from previous albums, sacrificing the soft, upbeat pop sound for something more punk and dirty.
The change is demonstrated by the transformation of the band’s singles, from the early “Combat Baby” to a single from Synthetica, “Youth Without Youth.” “Combat Baby” is not as heavy as “Youth Without Youth,” and has an upbeat tempo with less over-powering guitar and light synthesizing. However, “Youth Without Youth” is a lot edgier, from the electric guitar to lead singer Emily Haines’ vocals. Even the lyrics of the songs reflect this change. Throughout the album, Synthetica’s lyrics condemn society in a loud, brash punk way instead of in a subtle, rebellious rock way. “Youth Without Youth” calls out society for screwing the next generation in more ways than one: climate change, debt, unemployment, etc. To an extent, the band is showing its growth with this “it was better in my day” rant.
Having said that, at least the band is doing something. It’s about time that some of the more powerful musicians really call out the evils of society instead of getting caught up in the pop-centric world of hitting No. 1 on the charts and making millions. This year, the band not only released Synthetica, but is also on tour, has music featured on two soundtracks, and has a documentary underway. Metric has stayed true to its roots and its sound and is only getting bigger and bolder, giving the band a worthy reason to be the indie band to watch.