METZ seemingly set a new standard in taut, exacting ferocity on their second album, 2015's II. It was difficult to imagine a band hitting so hard with a similar degree of artful precision, but two years on, METZ have managed to beat themselves at their own game. Released in 2017, Strange Peace starts exploding the moment the opening cut, "Mess of Wires," kicks in, and for the next 37 minutes the band lays out a nonstop barrage of razor-sharp guitars, rumbling bass, and drums that go off like cannon fire.
Strange Peace is the third album from the Toronto noise-rock outfit METZ, and it's anything but peaceful. Starting with their self-titled debut for Sub Pop records, the trio of singer-guitarist Alex Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach, and drummer Hayden Menzies has raised a healthy if unholy racket, a sound that sits somewhere between the dissonant aggression of Shellac and the off-kilter hooks of Pixies.
Metz's new album still has one foot rooted in the best of their past, but sees the other stretching forward into a future that is just as riotous. It was a fair expectation that new album Strange Peace would feature eleven songs anchored on a bed of sonic venting and controlled chaos, and their third record does indeed largely follow their two prior in being a riff heavy and riotous affair. Like many hard touring, modern day noise bands, Metz have cut their teeth in the live environment, which possibly explains why they sought out Shellac's Steve Albini to engineer the recording of Strange Peace
For their third LP Strange Peace, METZ headed to Chicago, cutting the album live to tape with Steve Albini, who imbues the same feral nature he has given his own bands and dozens of other recordings onto the compositions of guitarist/vocalist Alex Edkins, drummer Hayden Menzies and bassist Chris Slorach. However, what’s new about Strange Peace is a more empowered grasp of the art of songwriting. One can hear the influence of Public Image Ltd. bursting through the fuzz on Drained Lake, especially in the Lydon-esque inflections of Edkins’ phrasing. Elsewhere, songs like Cellophane, Caterpillar and Dig A Hole explore dashes of pop melody subtle enough to not disturb the album’s consistent hard charge but reveal a desire to strive for something more cohesive.
METZ's 3rd album Strange Peace finds the band pivoting towards a more cerebral brand of noise. I say "pivot" because this isn't exactly a giant leap forward for the band, as the changes found on Strange Peace are fairly subtle in nature. At their core, METZ's patented sludgy and hammering brand of noise-punk is still fundamentally intact here, but there are a few new wrinkles to be found. Most notably are their forays into more restrained/brooding territory, like on the eerie "Caterpillar" and the somewhat creepy "Sink".
|A1||Mess Of Wires|
|A5||Lost In The Blank City|
|B5||Dig A Hole|
NotesCanadian pressing on translucent clear vinyl with red and orange splatter.
Barcode and Other Identifiers
- Barcode (Printed): 6 80889 09373 9
|sp 1199||Metz||Strange Peace (CD, Album, Dig)||Sub Pop||sp 1199||US||2017|
|SP 1199, sp 1199||Metz||Strange Peace (LP, Album)||Sub Pop, Sub Pop||SP 1199, sp 1199||Europe||2017|
|sp 1199||Metz||Strange Peace (LP, Album)||Sub Pop||sp 1199||US||2017|
|none||Metz||Strange Peace (11xFile, MP3, 320)||Not On Label (Metz Self-released)||none||Canada||2017|
|SP 1199||Metz||Strange Peace (LP, Album, Club, Ltd, Num, Cle)||Sub Pop||SP 1199||US||2017|