Though Toronto’s METZ are still generating caterwauling hurricanes of sound, these days, primary lyricist/guitarist Alex Edkins is fixated on the tension within the eye of the storm. Strange Peace is wholly informed by change, whether it’s band members’ impending fatherhood, an imposter winning the White House or the conscious sense that something seismic has shifted within society generally. METZ have never sounded so cunning, confrontational and, yet, so compellingly uncertain. The starkness of these observations is bolstered by Steve Albini, who engineered the sessions. And while the band challenge themselves, there’s also a reassuring aspect to the calm confidence of METZ here, though they find themselves in a lost world. (Royal Mountain/Sub Pop)
Why take more risks on Strange Peace?
Bassist Chris Slorach: On the second record, we felt we had something to prove, whereas on this one, the pressure was off. It felt like the most natural of the three.
Did you like working with METZ?
Engineer Steve Albini: I enjoyed it. They seem to be part of a contemporary tradition of noisy rock bands where there’s a sense of fun about what they’re doing, despite it being abrasive and heavy-sounding at times.
How did the sessions with Albini go?
Edkins: We recorded for four days and we did 14 songs, which is incredibly fast for us. He’s a total genius; the precision and knowledge of his room and his equipment is pretty wild to witness.