I wonder what Metric (and sometimes Broken Social Scene) frontwoman Emily Haines was like in high school. Like most emerging indie rock icons, she was probably socially awkward, the only sort of pre-adult state of mind that allows for a future of musical talent (no dates = more time alone with a guitar and a notebook full of lyrics), but you'd never know it from listening to Live It Out. The Haines we hear on Metric's latest record sounds like an undercover FBI agent posing as the most popular girl in school, an unattainable combination of brains, danger, looks, and sensuality. This is the girl we hear taking command of these 10 tracks, a bolder, more riff-oriented collection of songs than 2003's Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? All of the surf-punk rhythms and distorted guitars are still here, but they're more ferocious this time around, seemingly provided as the score to car chases in big black convertible Cadillacs with guns blazing. It's over these indie-punk frenzies that Haines' blend of femininity and muscle makes it easy for us to imagine her simultaneously kicking butt and breaking hearts in two, even back in high school.

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