With 2014’s self-titled debut and 2015’s sophomore effort II, the Toronto, ON-based trio METZ received attention across their native Canada and elsewhere for a sludgy, face-melting, power-chord based sound reminiscent of Bleach and In Utereo-era Nirvana, A Place to Bury Strangers, Japandroids and others, and unsurprisingly, the Toronto-based punk trio quickly became mainstays on this site. Now, as you may know their third, full-length album Strange Peace is slated for a September 22, 2017 release through Sub Pop Records, and the album, which the trio recorded with Steve Albini at Chicago’s Electrical Audio Studio live to tape, with home recordings and instrumentation added by their longtime collaborator, engineer and mixer Graham Walsh back in Toronto. And the new album reportedly finds the band pushing their sound and songwriting into a new direction while retaining the furious and intense energy of their live shows; in fact, the material thematically speaking may be among the most political yet personal material they’ve written to date, capturing the thoughts and emotions of young people in the age of Trump. “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 and latest single, is 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,”
The members of the Toronto-based punk rock act will be embarking on a North American tour to build up buzz and then support their new effort and it includes two NYC area dates — October 4, 2017 at Music Hall of WIlliamsburg and October 5, 2017 at the Bowery Ballroom.