The union of ferocious post-hardcore band Metz and cantankerous producer Steve Albini appears foretold in The Nice Guide Of Rock ’N’ Roll Inevitabilities. The Canadian trio makes a speciality of a sound that’s each slicing and pummeling, and Albini famously has a knack for capturing bands at their grittiest. To not point out Metz bears the affect of Albini’s band Shellac, and all indicators level to a wonderfully symbiotic partnership.
Unusual Peace bears that out. The band recorded the album dwell to tape at Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago, which the primary monitor makes plain: A distant voice says, “You’re rolling,” then Metz leaps into certainly one of its most ferocious songs ever, “Mess Of Wires.” Albini’s hand is instantly clear: a massive-sounding rhythm part—all booming drums and sinewy bass—and guitars with serrated distortion. Albini’s fashion can flatten guitars into tinny noise, however right here Alex Edkins’ guitar tracks—and there look like a number of per tune—stand on the extent of Metz’s ace rhythm part of drummer Hayden Menzies and bassist Chris Slorach.
The band tracked 14 songs in 4 days, a fast tempo that displays a hard-won confidence earned over its previous albums, 2015’s II and 2012’s Metz. Where the band barely relented on those albums, Strange Peace shifts its approach a bit: “Caterpillar” recalls Drive Like Jehu’s airier moments, like the long opening of “Do You Compute.” “Sink” also simmers, at least for a bit, with Edkins’ harmonics floating above Menzies’ massive beats. Album closer “Raw Materials” has a passage toward its last two minutes that’s downright poppy, as Edkins plays a melodic four-note lead over the rhythm section. For a moment, Metz veers into lightness before sliding back into a snarling maelstrom.
Metz could fall into the trap of making the same album over and over, but Strange Peace shows the band taking steps to subtly expand its sound. The attack remains, but it’s not as relentless.
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