METZ are a 3-piece noise rock band from Toronto, Canada. The band (Alex Edkins, vocals and guitar; Chris Slorach, bass guitar; Hayden Menzies, drums) formed in 2008 and released their eponymous debut album on Sub Pop Records in 2012, receiving favourable comments from both fans and critics. The album was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize in July, 2013.
Their second full-length album, METZ II, is nothing short of astounding. Building on the success of their first album the group have achieved more than just a revival of 90’s post-Nirvana-esque noise/grunge: they have deeply embedded their own unique twist on the noise rock movement.
Opening track ‘Acetate’ broods moodily in the background for fifteen seconds before assailing your ears with a wiry and addictive riff. The album has barely begun and already Edkins’s vocals are shining, a slow, melancholic vibrato dominating the verses. Following this is ‘The Swimmer’, which also takes it’s time to stalk through your headphones before providing yet another fantastic riff, far meatier and crunchier than the first track.
Just under halfway through at 12:00 comes the pulsing ‘I.O.U’, punching frisky, erratic noise guitar into your ears. Before you realise it you’re being hunted by ‘Landfill’, the monster of this album. This track has far more depth and malice from a furious blend of chunky guitar and bass, coupled with the now characteristically angry vocals – rather than punching you in a bar fight, this leviathan will tear you apart in a back alley.
Eighth track ‘Wait In Line’ slows down proceedings, the slight down-tempo coming as an aural relief after the preceding assault. Edkins’ talent as a vocalist is shown off again in a far more musical chorus that somehow maintains the previous sense of menace. ‘Eyes Peeled’ picks up the pace again with a return to the erratic barrage of blistering guitar and drum fills. Tenth and final track ‘Kicking A Can Of Worms’ slows down the tempo but ups the grating, grinding noise in a hideous crescendo for a final descent into exquisite aural torture.
To get a real sense of what this album is you have to listen to it in full. Each track ties into the next, and the result is a beautifully synchronised, high-energy tumult of refined noise rock which not only does justice to the previous titans in the genre movement, but paves its own way into waters unknown.
METZ II was released on Sub Pop Records on 4th May 2015.
Listen to the full album below.
An album that just keeps going and going, a must-have for any punk rock collection.