Before Canada’s METZ was gaining traction, they were ripping up pretty much every stage they performed on. Most of us who caught the band in those early years, remember thinking that they reminded us of nineties bands like Unwound or June of 44 while having our minds blown from their intense sets. The band hasn’t changed much since their formative years, but all of the band’s recordings from that era before they were on Sub Pop, have been impossible to track down. Automat, their new release is a collection of those hard to find tracks remastered and together for the first time. The intensity, the darkness and the raw energy of the band in those years come through on every track, reminding you that they’ve always been as good as you thought.
What’s here are tracks that sear with energy, where the chaos of sounds and noises craft their own meaning. The feedback of squeals that permeate opening track “Soft Whiteout” remind you of when the band started touring. The dark energy of “Ripped on the Fence” where all of the band’s punk energy pushes the song forward like they’re attempting to flip over a soda machine or the the speedy notes of “Negative Space (7″ version)” where things have that early murkiness that helped shape the band’s sound.
But while those songs are some you may not be familiar with, their are songs that the band kept in the live sets for a good while that are nice to have remastered as well. “Wet Blanket (Demo)” has the intensity of a tension based family reunion, “Dirty Shirt” hits like a punch to the gut and “Pure Auto” has all the makings of a hit punk track. They’re just reminders, of the early years, when the Canadian punks where ready to rule the globe for whoever would show up.
Automat can be streamed wherever you stream music, it can be purchased in all online music stores or it can be purchased physically on multiple formats or in multiple bundles directly from Sub Pop Records. METZ will be appearing at Desert Daze in Lake Perris, CA on October 10.
Image Credits: Photo by Nick Helderman.