Friday, 13 October 2017

Spinning: METZ - Strange Peace

It only seemed a matter of time before noise rockers METZ would team up with one of the greats of the noise rock scene Steve Albini. It actually makes a lot of sense that Albini would produce an album by the Canadian band, who draw so much inspiration from his work. Strange Peace is the result of that explosive collaboration where everything falls into place.

METZ alreay had the relentless repeating grooves in their kick-in-the-nuts music, but this time they have managed to come up with a more diverse sound, where the eruptions have even more impact. The album kicks in loud and heavy right from the start on 'Mess of Wires'. The drums are upfront in the mix so they keep pounding away on your ears. In 'Mr. Plague' they sound like an unstoppable repeating pile driver with grinding guitars. The intro of 'Drained Lake' sounds like bashing metal where the Johnny Rotten-like vocals cut right through them.

Beyond all that violence, an uneasy feeling is seeping through. 'Caterpillar' sounds dark and ominous where in 'Sink' a pestering guitar predicts trouble. "I've seen it watching constantly" we can hear, "all day long it's been calling to me", any moment you expect that horrific Pennywise to jump you. Songs about those uneasy feelings in life that will paralyze you, make you numb. The uncomfortable feeling in 'Cellophane', about how you can feel powerless, like being wrapped in plastic.

METZ' world is definitely not a happy place, but it never was. The album's closer 'Raw Materials' seems to die down halfway but then slowly rises up again with more trouble coming, until it erupts, tearing everything apart. Strange Peace is METZ at its best where Albini gives more direction to the wild explosive band. This time it is more than just a kick in the nuts, it is someone grabbing them and slowly squeezing. I know that doesn't sound really good, the album is like that, but in a good way: a form of satisfying self-flagellation.

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