"Who'd you rather be", Metric's dynamic frontwoman Emily Haines coos sweetly in the chorus of "Gimme Sympathy", the latest, sleekest electro pop gem from the Canadian band, "The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?" This is, obviously, a trick question, because on the evidence of this and their shimmering, critically praised new album "Fantasies", the only band they're interested in being is themselves.
And why would they ever want to be anything else? Nobody can do what Metric does - they align Haines' sweet, almost choral vocals with politicized lyrics that spit vim and vigour, ridiculously addictive melodies with a harsh, crunching undertow, and, with "Fantasies", introduce a welcome electronic element into a shiny stadium rock arena. They are the masters of their craft; effortlessly, breezily, breathtakingly so. "Gimme Sympathy" - which itself could be read as a playful riff of the Stones' legendary canon - epitomizes this perfectly, marrying seesawing guitars, pounding beats and a tune which could easily lodge itself in your cranium for weeks, perhaps months to come, to spectacular effect.
Come festival season this summer, punters will also be able to witness the band in their natural element. Hot on the heels of sold out headline tours of the US and the UK in May, the band played a storming set at Glastonbury and the Hard Rock Calling event at Hyde Park, at the behest of Brandon Flowers of the Killers himself. The band will be back in August to play Reading and Leeds.
There has never been a better time to be introduced to the twilight galaxy of Metric - after which you'd no doubt be asking yourself why other bands can't be more like them.