METZ are one of those bands that gets routinely described as ‘punishing’. That’s something of a cliché with noise bands, but in this case it’s fully justified. They have a seriously powerful sound with a brutal rhythm section and a nice line in thumping, white-noise riffs. Mess Of Wires is from their third album Strange Peace, which has just been released on Sub Pop. It’s a good example of their relentless aggression that also shows a growing maturity and depth to their sound.
METZ formed in Canada in 2008 and released their acclaimed, self-titled debut album on Sub Pop in 2012. Second album II came out in 2015, to similarly positive reviews. Strange Peace was recorded live with Steve Albini in Chicago and is just as raucous but more musically varied than their previous releases. It also features a great cover of That’s When I Reach For My Revolver by Mission of Burma. It could be the best yet from the three-piece – certainly vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins is proud of it:
“Recording in Chicago was a blast. We tracked fourteen songs in four days. It was the first time we felt confident enough to just play live and roll tape. Strange Peace is much more diverse and varied than anything we’ve done before, which was exhilarating, but terrifying, too.”
Edkins explains the overriding concept behind the album:
“The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
It’s easy to see where he’s coming from. There’s an awful lot of chaos here, interwoven with moments of real peace and beauty. It’s an apt soundtrack for the world today.
METZ are currently on tour in the US and Canada, before heading to Europe in support of Strange Peace. Seeing METZ perform live is as demanding as it is electrifying. When confronted with their onslaught in person, you feel like one of those TV journalists reporting from the middle of a hurricane; bracing yourself and gritting your teeth as end of the world-style pandemonium erupts all around you. If you like to experience full sensory overload at your gigs, you should definitely check out their tour dates. Take ear plugs. Hold tight.
METZ photo by Ebru Yildiz