May 12

Metric: “Monster Hospital”

Metric -- Live It Out

Maybe going for that swim off the oil rig wasn't such a great idea.

If you happened to read my post yesterday mentioning the upcoming Sasquatch Festival and all the New Music Monday artists that will be there, there’s another group I’m looking forward to seeing there the day I go: Metric. I have to admit that I haven’t been keeping up with their last couple of releases that well (although 2009’s “Gold Guns Girls” certainly didn’t escape my notice), but I’ve been a fan of theirs since getting Live It Out, back in 2005. Emily Haines has a great voice, one that works equally well belting it out on louder rock as it does dialing it down on the quieter, more introspective songs.

Haines and Metric update the ’70s new wave rock sound of Blondie and the Cars very well, but never suffer from a truly retro feel. My favorite case in point is “Monster Hospital,” from Live It Out. It’s a punky, new wave-y blast of uninterpretable meaning (best guess: an anti-war song, but that seems like too easy an answer) that sounds simultaneously fresh and familiar: “I fought the war…” conjures up “I fought the law…” — intentionally, as Haines literally brings “Bobby Fuller” into the song (the Bobby Fuller Four being the original band behind “I Fought the Law”). I love Haines’ vocals over the irresistible rave-up and then the way it comes to a crunching halt. All in all, it’s a monster of a song, I suppose you might say, if you weren’t able to come up with a better ending to your blog post. Good thing that wasn’t the case here today.

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