Singled out: A rundown on Keane, The Hives & Metric’s new tunes

Jennifer Suh

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Rock bands from different parts of the world are getting ready for the festival season. Keane, The Hives and Metric are all visiting Chicago this summer with their brand new albums. These three musical groups are preparing to hit the charts again with new singles before their Chicago shows. Keane English alternative rock band Keane released a piano rock track, “Silenced by the Night,” as the first single off their upcoming album, Strangeland. In this song, Keane’s signature piano sound leads the instrumentals. This single is much more similar to their earlier hits, such as “This Is the Last Time” and “Somewhere Only We Know.” “Silenced by the Night” has a relaxing summery feel, and it sounds like a perfect road-trip song. With Strangeland scheduled for release this Saturday, Keane has also released a video for their second single, “Disconnected.” The music video, a 6-minute horror film, fits the piano rock track, complemented by orchestral factors, perfectly. It has a similar feel to some of their grimmer songs like “She Has No Time” or “Untitled 1.” After they complete their almost-sold out tour in Europe, Keane will begin their North American tour. They will perform at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on June 22. The Hives Swedish garage rock band The Hives is finally releasing a new album after a five-year hiatus. Known for only wearing black and white uniforms, they will be donning matching formal tuxedos with top hats for this album’s promotion and performances. Their first single, “Go Right Ahead,” is an upbeat punk-pop track that can be mainly characterized by the frontman Howlin’ Pelle Almqvist’s bombastic vocals. He sings, “Down the streets in a UFO/ Find a bull and you grab the horns/ Go right ahead/ Spin your head up at the day you were born.” It is a short three-minute track, but is still animate and dynamic with the guitar riff in ELO’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” as the base of their instrumentals. The Hives’ fourth studio album, Lex Hives, will be released June 5 in the United States and they will perform at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on June 30. Metric Canadian rock band Metric did an interactive web promotion for their first single, “Youth Without Youth.” Ten days before the release date, the band announced that they would start revealing parts of the lyrics. Each time a stanza was released, it came with a behind-the-scenes video, sheet music, and Emily Haines’ and Jimmy Shaw’s commentary on the song. The frontwoman Haines explained that the song shows a youth’s point of view of a “decaying society.” This song of anger and resentment has heavy beats and dark melodies. Further, as Haines and the lead guitarist Shaw described, the track is rather political, and it can be best described by the terms “70s sleaze” and “Gary Glitter beats.” Metric will release their fifth studio album, Synthetica, on June 12 and they will perform at Lollapalooza on Aug. 3. -Jennifer Suh