Toronto punk trio METZ probably didn’t find a lot of fans outside of the harecore punk world with their self titled debut album released in 2012. Tempos were jarring, guitar melodies were lost in waves of noise, and Alex Edkins’s lead Metzvocals work was closer to shrieking than singing. Indoctrinated punks who stuck it out were rewarded with an album that can only be described as ferocious. Their sophomore effort is more accessible, but is just as impactful. II is as reckless, belligerent, and liberating as its predecessor, but stays within the confines of more traditional song structures.

Like many of his peers (Dylan Baldi, Brian King, and Patrick Stickles all come to mind), Edkins has improved as a singer. The vocal work is treated to a heavy dose of reverb in production and blends nicely with bassist Chris Slorach’s and drummer Hayden Menzies’s rhythm section work. But the most impressive thing about II is how seamlessly the band’s intensity translates through studio work. It’s the rare punk album that is able to capture the urgency and tenacity of a live performance. It’s a real achievement.

By: Jordan Swoyer

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