Vinyl Vlog 648

Vinyl Vlog 648

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Sunday, 28 April 2024
COLUMN

METZ
Up on Gravity Hill

(Sub Pop)

Sometimes I truly think something is the matter with me. I’ve heard about METZ for a while. Way back when their first album came out, they were all the rage. My friends were all talking about them. Especially how great of a live show they put on. Of course, I checked them out and I’m pretty sure I liked them, but I didn’t quite understand the buzz. They were interesting enough where I kept them on my radar whenever a new album of theirs came out. But, I’m also noticing that a certain website doesn’t exactly sing their praises like they used to. That’s a shame, because METZ just keeping getting better with every album, and their latest Up on Gravity Hill is proof.

One of the reasons I wax philosophical about the Metz is because they were a missed opportunity for me on many occasions. It was clear when they first hit the scene that there was something special about them: that catchy rage, mixed with pounding beats and near-indecipherable guitar was something that, put together, made for a fresh and fun listen. They’ve managed to remain a fairly active band ever since their debut, yet I kept missing them when they came to town. Last month I broke the cycle and something just clicked. The power trio of it all finally made sense to me.

The Metz seem to know what they do well and have been doing it album after album, but it’s only on Up on Gravity Hill that, surprisingly, they’ve made their sound much more accessible. Yes, Metz albums have that unique characteristic where you know you’re enjoying them when you’re listening to them, but you can’t really remember them after. It’s only here where Metz has further refined their formula and added some much-needed hooks and catchiness. While their first three albums play like a continuous barrage of noise matched with a pulsing beat (and I mean that in a good way), Atlas Vending finally sounded like a more focused album, and with this release, the songs have a life of their own and one can finally parse them out through this beautiful noise. I’m happy to say that Edkins’ vocals are as loud and indecipherable as always, which is the same I will say about his guitars. Bassist Slorach is tasked with bringing a melody and he does so in beautiful compliment. All this is rounded out by drummer Hayden Menzies who plays loudly and intricately, yet with a slight repetitiveness that will catch listeners’ attention. There’s a certain violence and beauty to these songs at the same time.

Sub Pop vinyl is always a pleasure to own because they always do a little extra for their releases. Up on Gravity Hill comes in an embossed sleeve, sporting a printed sleeve, poster, and this “loser” edition smoky red vinyl that looks like a slab of marble. Sub Pop makes noise this loud look classy, and my art friends ensure me: this record looks great.

Like I said, Metz just keep getting better. This latest is not just a highlight in their career, but also a highlight of 2024. We’re looking at a contender for album of the year.

Get it here.

photo: turntablelab.com

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