Nirvana, Big Black, Mission of Burma, Drive Like Jehu, Sonic Youth, Polvo
METZ – (4.5 / 5)
I’ll just say it: bands like METZ have become a rarity in the 2010’s. I don’t know what happened in since the dawn of the 21st century, but the term “rock” doesn’t mean what it used to. In the 1990’s, music seemed to be headed in a musical direction that was dark, grungy, and overall just HEAVY. Then came the commercialization of pop music and the pop “teen idols” that never seem to die or go away anymore, and rock music just seemed to take a turn over all towards the bland. Which is not a bad thing: music should constantly evolve. But every once in a while I need a band like METZ to remind me why I started listening to music in the first place, which is to rock n roll.
The mixture of punky madness and noisy guitars are blended in a catchy way on “Get Off”, “Sad Pricks”, and “Headache”, a sort of amalgam of Mission of Burma, Nirvana, and Big Black. “Wet Blanket” is sort of an epic anthem about getting up and making something of yourself while “The Mule” is out of this world pounding noise rock. “Rats” recalls the Seattle scene of the late 1980’s almost TOO well, while “Knife in the Water” mimics the feeling of the Roman Polanski film in a terrorizing song form. Best of all, the album (and none of their albums so far this decade) overstay their welcome and are nice and compact. METZ doesn’t change the formula of rock music of old too much, but you don’t need to when you are able to be this awesome at making anger seem fun. Their debut album slams home a return to punk rock n’ roll of old and it’s very welcoming.
Best Tracks: Get Off, The Mule, Wet Blanket
II – (4 / 5)
METZ is a band that constant gives you more of the same, with slight changes in production between albums. If you are a fan of their style, that is no problem. Just like their debut, here is some pounding, abrasive, post-punk style noise rock. Each song has the ability to be an exercise in controlled chaos: opener “Acetate” channeling a sort of Rites of Spring hardcore energy, while “Eyes Peeled” and the Swimmer” owe something to Drive Like Jehu and their symphonic brand of emotional punk rock. “Wait in Line” is the killer sing this time, as METZ always have one or two per record for sure. The record does not quite match the debut in entertainment field, as the middle of the record tunes like “Landfill” and “IOU” are a little lost in structure land. But there is still plenty to praise for fans of the band, and METZ shows they have a fury that has yet to subside. With a little more diversity between songs and diversiye in style I dare say, they will produce a masterwork someday.
Best Songs: Wait in Line, Acetate, Spit You Out
Strange Peace – (4.5 / 5)
The band’s 3rd album was produced by Steve Albini and it stands as a match to their debut. The attack of “Mess of Wires” is a dead ringer for Big Black, and the painful screaming recalls Sonic Youth or Unwound at their most vicious. Not many bands of the day dare to be this bleak while simultaneously being melodic and catchy, as so many of these tunes are actually very hummable and stick in your head for days (“Common Trash”, “Cellophane”). “Lost in the Blank City” is a cycle of never ending torture, and the spacey “Caterpillar” points to the future for a band that refuses to be defined by their idols alone. The influence of Sonic Youth is definitely stronger, not only in the noise department but in the way they turn guitar distortion in a melodic force to be reckoned with, see “Mr. Plague and “Dig a Hole” for examples of this. METZ has mastered the art of the short album for sure as they have proved on their first 3 records, all the group needs to do is increase the length of their albums a little bit!
Best Tracks: mess of wires, lost in the blank city, cellophane, common trash