Live Footage: METZ Performs “A Boat to Drown In” at Toronto’s The Opera House

Over the course of this site’s almost 11 year history — it turns 11 next week — i’ve spilled copious amounts of virtual ink covering Toronto-based punk trio and JOVM mainstays METZ. With the release of their third album, 2017’s Strange Peace, the trio — Alex Eadkins (vocals, guitar), Chris Slorach (bass) and Hayden Menzies (drums) —  pushed their songwriting in a new direction, as they crafted some of their most personal and politically charged work with the material capturing the anxiety, uncertainty, fear and outrage of the 2016 election cycle.

The JOVM mainstays’ fourth album, last year’s Atlas Vending found the band setting a goal for themselves and for the album before they set to work on it: that they were going to make a much more patient and honest album, an album that invited repeated listens rather than a few exhilarating mosh-pit friendly bludgeonings. Co-produced by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg and mastered by Seth Manchester at Pawtucket’s Machines with Magnets, the album finds the band crafting music for the long haul, with the hopes that their work could serve as a constant as they navigated life’s trials and tribulations.

The end result is an album that manages to retain the massive sound that has won them attention and hearts across the world — but while arguably being their most articulate, earnest and dynamic of their growing catalog. Thematically, the album covers disparate yet very adult themes: paternity, crushing social anxiety, addiction, isolation, media-induced paranoia and the restless urge to just say “Fuck this!” and leave it all behind.  Much like its predecessor, Altas Vending offers a snapshot of the the modern condition as they see it; however, each of the album’s ten songs were written to form a musical and narrative whole with the album’s song sequencing following a cradle-to-grave trajectory. And as a result, the album’s material runs through the gamut of emotions — from the most rudimentary and simple of childhood to the increasingly nuanced and turbulent peaks and valleys of adulthood. So in some way, the album find the band tackling what’s inevitable for all of us — getting older, especially in an industry seemingly suspended in youth. “Change is inevitable if you’re lucky,” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says of the band’s fourth album Atlas Vending. “Our goal is to remain in flux, to grow in a natural and gradual way. We’ve always been wary to not overthink or intellectualize the music we love but also not satisfied until we’ve accomplished something that pushes us forward.”

Interestingly, Atlas Vending closing track “A Boat to Drown In” was the album’s first official single and while continuing the band’s long-held reputation for crafting enormous, aural assaults centered around layers of distortion fueled powered chords, thunderous drumming, a mosh pit friendly hook and Eadkins urgent and howled vocals. But unlike their previously released material, “A Boat to Drown In” finds the band moving away from their grunge influences with their most expansive track to date, a track that finds them at their most oceanic. According to Eadkins, “A Boat to Drown in.” is “. . . about leaving a bad situation behind. About overcoming obstacles that once held you back, rising above and looking to a better future. The title refers to immersing yourself fully into what you love and using it as a sanctuary from negativity and a catalyst for change.”

Recently, the JOVM mainstays released a furious and urgent live version of “A Boat to Drown In” filmed as part of a live stream the band released last year at Toronto’s The Opera House that should serve as a reminder of their explosive live show — and of what many of us miss about live shows. Interestingly, with the release of the live footage, the members of METZ announced a co-headlining North American tour THIS fall with fellow JOVM mainstays Preoccupations. The tour will include two NYC area dates: December 9 at Elsewhere Hall and December 10 at Bowery Ballroom.

April and May 2022 sees the Canadians touring across the European Union.

“We are incredibly excited to be announcing a real in-person tour for later this year!” METZ’s Alex Eadkins says in press notes. “We cannot wait to share Atlas Vending with you and to reconnect with our musical friends and family worldwide.” 

Nov. 18 – Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
Nov. 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom 
Nov. 20 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
Nov. 22 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
Nov. 23 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile – Showroom 
Nov. 24 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore
Nov. 26 – Edmonton, AB – The Starlite Room
Nov. 27 – Calgary, AB – Commonwealth Bar & Stage
Nov. 29 – Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg Park Theatre
Nov. 30 – St. Paul, MN – Turf Club
Dec. 02 – Milwaukee, WI – The Back Room – Colectivo
Dec. 03 – Detroit, MI – Museum of Contemporary Art 
Dec. 06 – Montreal, QC – Theatre Fairmount 
Dec. 07 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall 
Dec. 09 – Brooklyn, NY – Elsewhere: Hall
Dec. 10 – NY, NY – The Bowery Ballroom
Dec. 11 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry at The Fillmore 
Dec. 13 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
Dec. 14 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar
Dec. 15 – Chicago, IL – Metro 
Dec. 17 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace (METZ only) 
Dec. 18 – Toronto, ON – Lee’s Palace (METZ only)
*All shows w/ Preoccupations except Toronto, Toronto on sale now, all additional shows on sale Friday, June 18th at 10 am local. 
Apr. 01 – Leicester, UK – O2 Academy 2 
Apr. 02 – Blackpool, UK – Bootleg Social
Apr. 03 – Manchester, UK – YES
Apr. 04 – Newcastle, UK – The Cluny
Apr. 06 – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Apr. 07 – Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
Apr. 08 – Bristol, UK – Thekla
Apr. 09 – Brighton, UK – Green Door Store
Apr. 10 – London, UK – Scala
Apr. 11 – Lille, FR – L’Aeronef
Apr. 12 – Antwerp, BE – Trix
Apr. 13 – Paris, FR – Petit Bain
Apr. 15 – Biarritz, FR – Atabal
Apr. 16 – Vigo, ES – La Iguana 
Apr. 17 – Porto, PT – Hard Club
Apr. 18 – Lisbon, PT – LAV
Apr. 20 – Madrid, ES – Independence Live
Apr. 21 – Barcelona, ES – LA 2
Apr. 22 – Nimes, FR – Paloma
Apr. 23 – Dudingen, CH – Bad Bonn
Apr. 24 – Lausanne, CH – Les Docks
Apr. 25 – Zurich, CH – Bogen F
Apr. 27 – Munich, DE – Kranhalle
Apr. 28 – Vienna, AT – Arena Wien
Apr. 29 – Berlin, DE – Lido
May 01 – Rotterdam, NL – Rotown
May 03 – Copenhagen, DK – Loppen
May 04 – Hamburg, DE – Hafenklang
May 05 – Groningen, NL – Vera
May 06 – Utrecht, NL – TivoliVredenburg
May 07 – Cologne, DE – Artheater
All shows w/ Psychic Graveyard