While the brand of 90’s revivalist bands we typically eat up here at Riot Nerd World Headquarters usually slather a heavy dose of sludge, stoner, prog, doom or goth onto their Clinton era sonic expertise, Canadian power trio Metz brings a noise punk prowess to the table that shakes itself free of such darker trappings, a propulsive burst of sweaty, sardonically hooky energy that reaches a sort of zen state on their new record “Strange Peace”. Produced by notoriously prickly alt-luminary Steve Albini, you’d expect Metz to adopt a similar nihilist streak under the outspoken iconoclast’s tutelage, but aside from singer/guitarist Alex Edkins’ usual gloriously snotty, Johnny Rotten-esque vocal delivery the only thing mean about “Strange Peace” is how vehemently the lot of it will get stuck in your head.
There’s an adventurousness on display here though, hearkening back to the band’s self-titled 2012 debut, that was missing on its more straightforward (but still excellent) 2015 follow up “II”. Droning noise experimentation lingers on the aptly titled “Lost in the Blank City”, “Cellophane” borrows liberally from the bouncier 90’s britpop acts, and “Caterpillar” and “Sink” are almost Interpol-like in their downbeat and introspective paeans to shoegaze. Metz are at their best though when barreling through a concussively catchy 3 minute masterpiece, with the one two punch in the mouth of “Mess of Wires” and “Drained Lake” leading the charge and the tense march towards “Mr. Plague’s” enormous chorus. Epic length closer “Raw Materials” features “Strange Peace’s” most impressive riffs-manship while blink-and-you’ll-miss-them late record curiosities “Escalator Teeth” and (dangerously catchy personal favorite) “Dig a Hole” are, just like Metz themselves, odd and mysterious , but ultimately achieve a sort of gnarled, feedback laden beauty, leaving the listener begging for more.