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II

Toronto punks step up the dirt and fury, do Kurt proud

Metz

METZ Band Photo

Sub Pop

II

Countless bands have spent the years since Kurt Cobain’s death recycling his poppiest ideas; Metz, with their 2012 debut, announced themselves as the torchbearers of his gnarliest punk-rock instincts. True to those instincts, on II, the trio has taken its sound – think In Utero with zero apologies, Black Flag brawling Big Black, the Jesus Lizard and Mary Chain – in an even less polished and accessible direction. The record twitches with the flying-off-the-rails urgency of the band’s live shows as Metz sandblasts the industrial precision of their first album into a nastier, more shambolic attack. They’ve gone darker, too. A self-professed “massive pessimist” who lost loved ones over the past few years, singer-guitarist Alex Edkins flirts with full-on nihilism, screaming of end times and being “like a bug lying on its back.” But Metz’s genius, like Nirvana’s, is their ability to embed hooks in even the most abrasive onslaughts, and express emotion that, as fever-pitched as it gets, is always irreproachably honest. Countless bands play at grunge angst, but as Edkins shrieks on “I.O.U.”: “I ain’t got time to pretend.”

In This Article: Metz

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