Thursday, November 14, 2019

Album Review: Metz - Automat

***and1/2 out of *****

The newest release from the noise rock band Metz is a collection of B-sides, demos, non-album singles and rarities which date back to 2009. The group has released some excellent clanging albums including Strange Peace, i and ii, now Automat admirably fills in the gaps with some lesser known tracks. It is a statement to their style and sound that this thrown together collection holds up with their more conventional releases; the buzzing rock which the band has always displayed continues even during their more tossed off moments.

"Soft Whiteout" does what this band does best, droning, buzzing grinding guitar work with distortion electric screeches, distant drums and angry vocals. At times you it can sound as if you are sitting in Alex Edkins amp with the twitches glitches and distorted freak-outs. The buzzing distortion and feedback rattling sound continue in banger's and migraine inducers like the warbling "Lump Sums", the driving "Ripped On the Fence", the stop/start power of "Pure Auto" and "Dirty Shirt" which is propelled by the slamming drums of Hayden Menzies.

"Dry Up" stands out with it's crisp guitars to start and loose bass notes as the band slams ahead and lets the echoing sound ring out while the demo version of "Wet Blanket" is a cool throwback for fans of the bands first full length. The most pop friendly tune on this release finds the loose groove laid down by bassist Chris Slorach during "Leave Me Out" which isn't pretty but the most palpable for non noise rock fans.

The title track for this collection is more experimental with electronic sound effects and beats mixing in the overall sound while the punk slamming of "Can't Understand" was originally released back in 2013 by Adult Swim.

If you are new to Metz, starting with any of their previous records is probably a wise move, however Automat is a solid approximation of the band and not the oddball offering some b-side releases tend to be.
Support the band, buy the album, stream it on bandcamp or below and peep some video:

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