METZ have been making angular swaths of post-punk noise for a few years now. Over the course of three full-lengths and a handful of EPs and singles, the Canadian trio of guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies have honed their sound from unhinged anxiety and pent-up rage to an almost pop-flavored panic attack with a bloody smile.
It’s this aggressive power drill punch that has made them one of the most exciting rock bands to appear on the music horizon in years. A mixture of Big Black, Chavez, The Fall, and Mission To Burma all over-caffeinated and ready to tussle, METZ continue to evolve their Steve Albini-isms with their newest album Atlas Vending.
While not going for their pop crossover, there’s a fluidity with this new album that gives it a familiarity. Like, “Hey, I know these guys! I like this thing that’s happening right now with my ears bleeding.” Atlas Vending continues METZ’ loud, angry procession to world domination.
“Pulse” opens the album with Hayden Menzies frantic heartbeat of a kick drum, accompanied by Edkins pummeling guitar squall. It all comes to life like a dormant beast that just got the right amount of electricity in his neck bolts. “Blind Youth Industrial Park” pushes the limits of Tinnitus ear safety, but it also has sort of this pop element under the surface that is infectious. That pop feel follows into closing track “A Boat To Drown In”. This is the closest METZ has come to a crossover track. The dissonance still exists in Alex Edkins guitar, but there’s also a real pop sensibility here. Of course, this is also the longest song METZ have recorded at over seven minutes, going into an almost post-punk/Krautrock hybrid track in the last couple minutes.
Listening to METZ is like looking into the inner workings of some metal machine. You see the gears turning in unison as sparks fly and life glows deep inside. Tracks like “The Mirror”, “No Ceiling”, and “Hail Taxi” burn in both existential dread and blind anger. What METZ does is stunning to hear and see.
METZ are a musical beast unto themselves. Their music is of a mechanical nature; like a rusty metallic beast coming to life after years of dormancy. It’s loud, cranky, bludgeoning, and once it gets going it’s a deadly thing, man. But if you just sit back and let it do its thing it’s quite the sight to behold. Atlas Vending is a real grower, but after a few spins it’s true pleasures make themselves known.
8.5 out of 10
Buy Atlas Vending here.