Metz review: Hardcore made even harder by Steve Albini

Strange Peace
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Artist: METZ
Genre: Alternative
Label: Sub Pop

Metz plus Steve Albini equals a match made in heaven. The third album from the Toronto-based (and Big Black-inspired) trio, recorded live to tape with the legendary producer, is their best to date. Their hardcore punk roots remain intact but the songs’ innate melodies are allowed more breathing space.

Mess of Wires is like an angry Les Savy Fav, Cellophane dives and bends on a roller-coaster riff and bouncing rhythm, soothed with a chorus Ray Davies would be proud of and Caterpillar, despite Alex Edkins's needling guitars and down-in-the-dungeon vocals, is positively pretty.

Similarly, the nightmarish squalls and pummelling drums of Lost in the Blank City are perversely agreeable. Even with a default mood setting of frantic anxiety and a side helping of barely contained rage, Strange Peace is more accessible than first impressions might suggest.

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