In METZ’s third studio album, Strange Peace, they take their already gritty brand of noise-rock and push it up against the barrier separating music and white noise. Thickly laden with feedback and clashing, steely guitar sound, the band creates an album that centers around the mechanical aspects of grimy inner cities. Tracks like “Lost in the Blank City” and “Drained Lake” take the listener on a virtual ride on what sounds like a steel-toed boot through an industrial dryer, where tumbling drum fills and crashing riffs numb out the vocals that seem to echo up out of the black. Factory resonant noise fills up a lot of the head-space of this album and is even projected in their lyricism, most heavily in the song “Escalator Teeth” where vocalist Alex Edkins cries out “machine like repetition,” just in case their listeners didn’t get the idea in the previous eight tracks of sound bombardment. Their grasp on the “anti-anthem” becomes firmer as they demonstrate their continuing ability to stray as far as possible from a catchy tune, and develop instead five-minute, mono-rhythmic bangers that leave listeners blinded with noise and somehow wanting to hear more. The tracks, aside from being mediums of slow-cooked angst, show that METZ is offering the finer cuts of the modern transgressions of grunge to their audiences, which makes sense as to why the anticipation for their music climbs.

– Erin Cribbs