METZ – “II” Album Review
METZ are a curious modern punk band: they’re way too noisy and fast-paced to fit into the likes of pop-punk bands such as Blink 182 and Offspring, and they’re not quite loud or aggressive enough to fit into the ever-increasing hardcore genre.
Instead their influences are a bit more grunge, with distorted guitar noises, low bass and heavy drumming assaulting the ears: not too dissimilar from the late 80s/early 90s sounds of Bleach-era Nirvana and Mudhoney.
Is it any surprise then that METZ are part of the same label which produced Nirvana’s first album and continues to produce Mudhoney ones?
While it’s easy to draw the comparisons between these bands and METZ, when you listen to their new album -simply titled “II”- there’s a lot more to appreciate from the Toronto three piece.
The riffs in songs such as “The Swimmer” and “I.O.U.” get stuck in your head, particularly the latter which, coming after the album’s only quiet song (“Zzyzx”: a tuning and test of different instruments) hooks the listener back in.
The song is arguably the high point in the album, lead singer and guitarist Alex Edkin’s shouts of “I.O.U.” merging incredibly well with the guitar hooks and drumming of the song.
Other high points include the album’s opener and main single “Acetate”. The low, foreboding sound of the bass at the start of the song introduce to the listener just what they’re about to get into: a dark, aggressive assault of punk.
Conversely, album closer “Kicking a Can of Worms” works well because of how it builds up slowly, starting with the distorted noise of the electric guitar, kicking into gear with Hayden Menzies drumming and then Chris Sloarach’s deep bass.
In spite of these highlights though, and depending how much you can take of METZ’s noise-rock, there are times when it feels as though the songs are dragging on and sound similar to the ones that appeared earlier.
Overall, “II” is a great, high octane punk album, with some catchy riffs and awesome drumming. Perhaps the next time they make an album, METZ could experiment just a little bit more.