Album review: METZ, “Strange Peace”

by Jon E. Lynch

METZ, “Strange Peace”

Available: Friday, Sept. 22, via Sub Pop Records as a digital download in various formats, on cassette, compact disc, and vinyl. Pre-order the LP direct from Sub Pop to receive the record on Loser Edition Clear w/Red and Green Swirl Vinyl, while supplies last. For the collector who needs even more exclusivity, have your Canadian pal order you the Extra-Limited Edition Smokey Splatter Vinyl, as this is for those that reside north of the border only. Both labels graciously offering special vinyl bundles featuring all three METZ full-lengths. After the limited colorways run out, standard black vinyl versions should be available worldwide and at your favorite local independent record store.

Toronto, Ontario’s METZ, featuring Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass), have made one of the finest heavier-leaning albums I’ve heard so far this year. I don’t offer this lightly or offhandedly. While I’ve always dug METZ’s music, I’ve felt with the previous full-lengths (2012’s “METZ” and 2015’s “II”) that something has always been left on the table, something left unsaid or unfinished. With “Strange Peace,” I not only want to start the album over again, but I want to revisit the previous full-lengths to give them better due and to properly contextualize and hear this current recording. There is a serious leap with “Strange Peace.” Perhaps it is the incessant rigors, along with the physical and emotional demands of touring. I’m sure working with the notorious and wonderfully and thankfully particular Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Slint, Jawbreaker, Cheap Trick, Ty Segall and countless others) at Electrical Audio in Chicago had something to do with it. Or, most likely, a combination therein and a band hitting their well-earned stride and writing fantastic songs, while playing them loud. The record opens with a pummeling, pulverizing, endurance test in “Mess of Wires” and never really eases up, until it does, only to bring it back again in a more-than-solid 40-minute offering.

Very much recommended for fans of The Jesus Lizard, Shellac, A Place to Bury Strangers, Protomartyr, The Melvins, or Pissed Jeans.

Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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