Album Review: Metz – Strange Peace

Photo by Ebru Yildiz, courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Photo by Ebru Yildiz, courtesy of Sub Pop Records

“Mess Of Wires” is the churning, hypnotic intro track on Metz’ third album “Strange Peace.” Within seconds, the Canadian noise rock trio reminds the world of its songwriting prowess and its ability to select the perfect tones.

The song that follows, “Drained Lake,” is another feat that could only be pulled off by musicians as practiced as these. The song is driven by raw power and by a circular guitar riff similar to that of the previous song, but what distinguishes this one is the wiry, manipulated feedback that punctuates each line throughout the chorus. Metz’ guitarists make new instruments out of their pedals, as does vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins with his voice.

Several of the most obvious pieces of inspiration that Metz draws from are supplied by the heavy catharsis of grunge and other ‘90s alt-rock niches, however, a small handful of moments on “Strange Peace” are also reminiscent of the ‘80s. “Caterpillar” and “Sink” call to mind the strange, anxious interlude

s that dot Hüsker Dü’s masterpiece “Zen Arcade.” These quiet moments are successful in allowing listeners a moment to recharge and reflect, and by contrast, allow the songs that follow to pack an even heavier punch.

Another moment that displays the band’s commitment to unique compositions comes on “Lost In The Blank City.” The song is a tense, groove-heavy jam that adopts an almost-upbeat melody as it paints a gorgeous noise rock landscape. Very rarely does a noise rock band sit this close to becoming art rock.

Seeing that Metz is one of the bands carrying the torch in heavy rock music’s innovation, it should be no surprise that Steve Albini helped engineer this record. Real really does recognize real. The band’s third full length release includes some of its most challenging and rewarding material yet and has now completed a three-peat that most rock bands can only dream of.

About Aaron Rhodes

Aaron Rhodes runs Shuttlecock Music Magazine and hosts the Shuttlecock Podcast. He also writes freelance for The Pitch and Mills Record Company, books shows, takes photographs, and continuously finds new ways to bother Kansas City's favorite musicians.

View all articles by Aaron Rhodes

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