Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’d recall that the Toronto, ON-based JOVM mainstay act METZ exploded into the blogosphere with 2014’s self titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II, thanks in part to a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others. The trio’s highly-anticipated third, full-length album is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Sub Pop Records, and the the album, which the trio recorded with the legendary Steve Albini at Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio live to tape and features home recordings and additional instrumentation added by their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh back in Toronto.
Reportedly, the new album finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting in a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows — in fact, thematically, the material may arguably be the most politically-charged yet personal material written to date, presumably inspired by life in the age of Donald Trump and a sociopolitical climate in which everything seems to be spiraling out of control. “The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty. They’re about recognizing that we’re not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears,” the band’s Alex Eakins explained in press notes. “They’re about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos.”
“Cellophane,” Strange Peace‘s first single found the Canadian punk trio retaining the sledgehammer forcefulness, sludgy power chords and rousing hooks that first caught the attention of the blogosphere and this site, but there’s an underlying, hard-fought maturity — the sort that come as a result of living in an increasingly fearful, uncertain, fucked up world, that feels as though it’s spinning faster and faster towards disaster. And interestingly enough, “Cellophane” seems to say to the listener, “hey man we’re scared out of our fucking minds, too; but we have each other and somehow we’ve gotta stick together and figure it out.”
“Drained Lake,” Strange Peace‘s second single, was a jagged and propulsive post-post-punk track with layers of blistering and scuzzy guitars, punchily delivered lyrics and thunderous drumming with the use of a lurching synth line for what I think may be the first time in the band’s history; but while being a revealing look into a band that’s begun to restlessly experiment and expand upon their sound, it also finds the band at their most strident and searching, while being a sneering anthemic “fuck off” to those who don’t — and perhaps can never — see you for who you are. As the band’s Eadkins explained in press notes, the song reflects, “the constant struggle to know yourself and make sense of your life and surroundings. What is my purpose? Holding on to who you are while finding off pressure to bend to what other people want and expect from you.”
“Mess of Wires,” Strange Peace’s third and latest single finds the trio at their most furious and most punishing, as the song features pummeling drums, scorching guitar lines and punchily delivered, shout worthy lyrics and hooks. And while being a face melting, mosh pit worthy track, the song is underpinned by a visceral honesty and self-examination while being an earnest, urgent and forceful shout to the listener that now is the time to stand up for the things you believe in before they’re smashed to bits — or worse, before they’re taken away from you. As the band’s Edkins explains in press notes “‘Mess of Wires’ is a reminder to myself to speak out and say what I believe. To be honest with myself. It is common to feel that your thoughts are inconsequential, a drop in the echo-chamber, but silence can be worse. Speak out about what you believe in, loud and often.”