Keith Lau (14S63), Jillian Loe (14A14), Nathanael R. (14S43), Jerome Lee (15S63), Brian Kong (15S52)

Alt-V is for music lovers.

Specially curated by your dedicated columnists Jillian, Dante, Keith, Brian and Jerome, Alt-V is a regular instalment of album reviews, some written by the columnists themselves, and others based on the opinions of Victorians all around the school.

Here at Alt-V we try to keep things fresh and popping, so instead of conventional date-of-issue or rating-based reviews, we arrange our reviews by colour. Each cycle of Alt-V reviews will feature a set of albums that have pretty much nothing in common except for the colour of the album art.

Also, this week, we’d like to welcome a new writer Brian Kong from 15S52 into the ranks of Alt-V. With five writers now, stay tuned for even more fresh hits, underrated gems and old but gold music to be reviewed in these pages.

If your curiosity has been piqued after reading any of the reviews, don’t be afraid to approach any of the writers or interviewees to find out more about the albums and artists. And if you would like to contribute to the next article which will be centred around the colour GREEN, feel free to contact any of the main writers of Alt-V as we’re more than willing to get in touch with you guys.

Albums reviewed in this cycle:

  1. Metric, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now
  2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, It’s Blitz!
  3. Dizzee Rascal, Boy In Da Corner
  4. Sex Pistols, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols
  5. K’Naan, Troubadour


Metric, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now

Jillian Loe (14A14)

Metric’s debut album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now (2003) may not be my favourite Metric album but it still was one reason why I fell in love with Metric when I was 13.

Today, Metric is one of the most iconic bands in the Canadian indie music scene. Although this album was not the album that cemented their status, it served to put their name out there and made them a band worth looking out for.

With front woman Emily Haines headlining and leading the band, her breathy vocals brought new dimension to their indie rock sound that was heavily inspired by classic indie rock bands like New Order and The Cure. When I was 13 and first fell in love with Metric, Haines was my idol because I thought she was just the coolest, most talented badass chick ever. Emily’s style and persona definitely contributed largely to the allure of the album. The songs in the album are dark, punk-y and synth-heavy. Everything my angsty 13-year-old self wanted in music. The singles from the album ‘Dead Disco’ and ‘Combat Baby’ characterise my adolescent years now – youthful, energetic dark but also extremely self-absorbed. Needless to say, I loved this album back then.  That being said, looking at this album now, I can see clearly how this album falls short as compared to their later albums. Old World Underground, Where Are You Now lacks the clarity and focus of the other albums; in my opinion, the songs in this album do not have a clear central concern because the songs and their lyrics span such a diverse range of issues from criticism of the U.S government in ‘Succexy’ to the struggles of a prostitute in ‘Hustle Rose.’ While that may be a merit in itself, it made it difficult to understand Metric as a band and what they stood for. However, that does not really take the listener away from the album as Metric’s fresh and interesting sound still provides overall coherence to the album.

If you’re thinking about getting into Metric’s music now, I would not recommend starting from this album; not because Old World Underground, Where Are You Now is bad, but because Metric just has better albums (Fantasies, Grow Up and Blow Away) that represent them as a band better.

Rating: 7.5/10 because this album holds sentimental value for me (it’s actually more like a 7/10).

Favorite songs: Hustle Rose, Combat Baby, Calculation Theme, Dead Disco

Favorite lyrics:

I wish we were farmers, I wish we knew how/ To grow sweet potatoes and milk cows from Calculation Theme.

Tonight your ghost will ask my ghost, / Who put these bodies between us? from Calculation Theme.


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