Review Summary: Sonic lobotomy.
What do you do when you can’t write all that catchy a melody? How do you peak a listener’s interest with your song, when the core structure of it reaches astonishing levels of just slightly above average? Well, you make sure everything around it is a ***ing rampage. Metz might have just perfected that method with this live recorded psychotic record.
This album clashes, shreds, bursts and pierces. Its guitars are tuned up so high they are shrieking. The drums are so chaotically rampant that they remind more of a brutal bar fight than a carefully structured, methodical play. The entire instrumental side put together then sounds like something you hear before permanently acquiring tinnitus for the rest of your life. Now, all this sounds like a rather negative, scary thing, but fear not, for this album actually manages to enthral with its purposefully aggressive, off-the-wall, sonically malicious sound.
At times it might be reminiscent of faster and louder Shellac. That is no coincidence, for Shellac’s very own Steve Albini is the madman behind the mixing table. So when you get a band as obsessed with noise and devastating sound as Metz and put on a production role someone with a lifetime experience of shaping Noise Rock for generations to come, all recorded live in what seems like a shed they transformed into a studio, the end result will be quite a ride.
The album doesn’t try to hook you with melodies to go along with the music. They are there, but they mainly serve the purpose of being the differentiating link between the songs. Right from the get-go we get a skin crawling freak out in form of “Mess of Wires”, where the band grips you and starts pushing you around like you’re the nerd that owes it money. You can pretty much expect the same kind of approach on the rest of the album. Each song is built on dreading, animalistic songs based on repetition and persuasive deconstruction of the sound they present from the very beginning.
Songs like “Cellophane” and “Common Trash” sound like a remastered version of something from the 80s or the 90s, when this kind of frantic, compressed Noise style only started gaining traction. But the album doesn’t go rapid-fire nonstop; it does provide occasional breathing points like the dizzying “Caterpillar” or the ear buzzing “Sink”. As for the missteps, you could call “Escalator Teeth” and “Dig a Hole” lesser successes for their short runtime, but even in that they bring a solid amount of beat down entertainment.
With Strange Peace
Metz pulled off their most adventurous, wavy and mind-bending record thus far. It’s a trippy, vulgar, in-your-face and quite dismal experience, albeit a tad too short (still longer than any of their previous albums, though) and with more of a focus on the instrumental insanity, rather than song writing cohesion. Many will also probably fell that the clash of sonic waves and dubious production isn’t entirely pleasant. Nevertheless, this album is a must listen for anyone seeking that crusty, hellish, grinding sound of proper bodyslamming, headbanging, armswaving, kneesweakening, braintwisting, earpiercing, eyeaching, tummyrumbling, liverstabbing, toetickling, feetpinching, elbowcrushing, chinwobbling, nosepicking sound…where am I going with this? I don’t know, the album’s madness just let me get carried away…