It goes without saying that Canadian trio METZ long ago earned their place alongside noise treasures like Unwound, Sonic Youth and Fugazi. Their brand of noise never wains and never relents. As they traipse down the sonic landscape, their new album Atlas Vending sheds a lot of the extra bandwith in lieu of a more refined and redefined term of noise. More like a proclamation of what noise now is, the album is a sonic assault with hooks and melodies not found before within the genre, like this at least.
The opening song “Pulse” is just that. Playing out like a fierce pulse, the way the song is constructed offers a terse interpretation without overwhelming the listener. However the following track is where things become more immersed in harshness. “Blind Youth Industrial Park” gets bathed in the intensity that the band brings to their songs while still fining melody somewhere within. That intensity continus on “No Ceiling.” The catastrophic downturns make the song shimmer while squeals and thunderous drums envelop the caverns of your speakers.
The album is a reform in what noise can be. Signaled with punk undertones, the songs are strewn together by their haze of quirks and balanced by them as well. “Hail Taxi” surges within itself, “Sugar Pill” twists and turns to the point of hysteria without the motion sickness and “Parasite” offers an immediacy and intensity that’s unparalleled in the genre today. But throughout all of the abundant parallels in sonic readiness, the favorite of the album came on “The Mirror.” While “A Boat To Drown In” offers the perfect blend of melodic tone and disarrayed squeal, “The Mirror” takes all of the band’s immense chaos and bundles it into one tightly bound shrink wrap. The smattering of the drums, the gurgle of the bass and the atonal guitar stabs offer noise like you’ve never experienced. Going down paths uncharted between jaunts of squeal and keeping it all together, the band holds the reigns tight yet still feels like things could come unbound at any moment. It’s masterful in its presentation to say the least.
Atlas Vending can be purchased directly from Sub Pop Records. It’s also available to stream on all streaming providers or to purchase in all digital outlets. METZ is set to appear live at The Opera House via livestream October 15 through 17. They will begin touring August 11 in Torremolinos, Spain at CanelaParty 2021 until October 08 in Antwerp, Belgium at Muziekcentrum Trix. Their complete tour schedule can be accessed here.
Image Credits: Photo by Norman Wong.