Metz seem to have found that perfect recipe for brash, explosive anger and have no plans of changing that recipe. Not even slightly. On their follow-up to their 2012 debut album the Canadian trio seemed to be on a mission of destruction and mayhem. That record took the blueprint of bands like Big Black, the Pixies, and even early Nirvana and lit it on fire, pissed on it, and then reconstituted the ashes into a jet black cocktail of squealing guitars, exploding drums, and buzzsaw bass. Alex Edkins vocals resembled a madman falling in an endless cavern, and a blender on puree. It was a relentless, unforgiving thirty minutes of noise rock you wouldn’t soon forget(since your ears rang for an hour afterwards.) On II, the band’s new record, nothing has changed. It’s just as brutal, if not more so. It’s another half hour of abrasive, bloody sound blasts that do nothing to up the ante from last time. If you wanted something else, well you’re in the wrong place, pal.
From the opening fuzzed-out bass notes of “Acetate”, to the eardrum-splitting finale of “Kicking a Can of Worms”, the ride is relentless and combative. Edkins, along with bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies seem to have one goal in mind: get it as loud, angry, and in the red as they can. Then, just when you think it can’t get any more intense, push it up even more. I’m not sure you’ll hear anything more intense this year than “Nervous System”. It’s like a panic attack transcribed into music. Even punk rock never felt this intense. There are subtle changes this time around, though. There seems to be a little more attention put to making these songs feel more melodic, if that’s possible. Alex Edkins vocals seem to be more up front this time around, giving the songs an actual song feel; as opposed to the debut’s scorched earth policy of making each song a fire and brimstone aural revival. Edkins vocals at times resemble Jello Biafra drowning on his own blood. “I.O.U.” starts out sounding like someone searching the FM dial for something to listen to, and then comes across the sound of something familiar in a sea of white noise. The sound of punk morphing into post-punk right before our ears. “Spit You Out” could’ve been a b-side from In Utero. Just close your eyes and listen. You’ll hear it. “The Swimmer”, “Landfill”, and “Eyes Peeled” are the closest Metz has come to catchy hooks. They’re in there, just dig a little deeper. Past the bloody rags and sweat-soaked t-shirts.
Once again Metz self-produced and they seem to know what they’re doing. There’s a continuity in the swarm of noise. A through line from their debut to II that while some will say they aren’t evolving or pushing boundaries, I’d argue to say there’s something very comforting in that. Some bands don’t need to add orchestras, back up singers, horn sections, or piano ballads in order to evolve. Sometimes the beast needn’t be tamed. Sometimes a beast must simply stay a beast. Metz are the beast this world needs right now, and II is that beast’s mission statement.
8.8 out of 10