METZ 'II' (Sub Pop Records)

METZ ‘II’ (Sub Pop Records)

METZ ‘II’ (Sub Pop) Album Review

Not since The Jesus Lizard have I wanted to be in a band so much. This is a power-trio on Sub Pop that obviously love the album “Bleach” and much like their non-Canadian peers Pissed Jeans, have decided to stay in that recess (“No recess!”) and drive the riffs deeper and deeper.

Think “Floyd The Barber”, but Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto singing instead of Kurt, and Helmet’s Page Hamilton shredding the guitar rather than Kris, and you’re some way to the brow furrowing headspace which METZ occupy.

I bought the first METZ album (called “METZ” – can you see a pattern with the album titling emerging?) in 2012 and it came with a brilliant mixtape bonus CD including many of their influences like The Birthday Party, The Damned, The Flaming Lips and Clinic. I know from this that they have impeccable taste and quality control, and they mean it. I was instantly converted.

‘II’ is very much more of the same, but with 3 lurching great hits to the kisser in “The Swimmer”, “Acetate” and “Spit It Out”. Not so much lead singer as lead fist swinger and chief howler Alex Edkins really gives it some. And then some. It’s not all intelligible but it’s most definitely primordial.

METZ Band Photo by David Waldman

METZ Band Photo by David Waldman

The second album has not seen any of the edges smoothed, and I’m relieved. It reminds me of the kind of Touch & Go records I loved back in the original Velvet Sheep ‘zine days. No quarter(stick) given none taken. If Pissed Jeans have the warped humour of the emasculated worker drone like Killdozer used to, then METZ take the slightly more animalistic urges of Girls VS Boys and pummel them in a way that feels both very 90s and yet super urgent too.

It’s all shade, not much light, but as a record of pure brutal escapism, adrenalized and furious thrills it’s hard to beat.

Rating: II Good!