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First Play: Metz, Strange Peace

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Andrea Gin

Get ready, because Toronto-based hardcore band Metz is about to release its highly anticipated third album and we have it streaming right here a week ahead of its release date.

The band, made up of guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins, drummer Hayden Menzies and bassist Chris Slorach, put out a self-titled debut in 2012, which won rave reviews and garnered them a spot on the Polaris Music Prize short list. Their uninhibited, electrifying shows also earned them a reputation as one of the best live bands around.

Strange Peace does a good job of capturing the band’s intense live show — from the blistering opener “Mess of Wires” to the careening finale of “Raw Materials,” it creates sonic turmoil and embraces it. You can almost feel discord in the air as you listen.

“The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty," Edkins explains via press release. "They're about recognizing that we're not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They're about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos."

While growing in terms of lyrical themes, the band is also sounding more powerful and mature. Strange Peace was recorded at Electrical Audio live off the floor to tape with legendary producer Steve Albini.

“Recording in Chicago was a blast,” Edkins says. “We tracked 14 songs in four days. It was the first time we felt confident enough to just play live and roll tape.”

He says the recording sessions left the band feeling like they’d taken a big step forward.

Strange Peace is much more diverse and varied than anything we’ve done before, which was exhilarating, but terrifying, too. We took the tapes home to Toronto feeling like we’d made the record we wanted to make.”

Strange Peace will be released on Sept. 22 via Royal Mountain in Canada and Sub Pop for the rest of the world. Pre-order it here. Metz will be touring this fall, with stops in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. See their tour schedule here.