The new album opens with the heavy-hitting “Mess of Wires” which leaves listeners with precious little time to take a decent breath before the sonic explosion begins. “Strange Peace” is riddled with the fast-paced heavy hitters we’ve come to expect from the band, though several are others are slightly less typical. Songs such as “Cellophane”, and “Dig a Hole” are a bit more melodic and, dare I say, poppy with vocals seemingly channeling Jello Biafra. Other songs like “Sink” are a dramatic change from what we are used to hearing from the trio as it is much more slow-paced and quiet with the chiming harmonics of the bass guitar being the predominate riff. Very Sonic Youth and very cool.
Nirvana and the Pixies come to mind at times throughout the album, which is not surprising since, like Metz with “Strange Peace,” both bands have at one time been recorded by the one and only Steve Albini who carries such claims to fame as “In Utero” and “Surfer Rosa.”
The final track, “Raw Materials” is the album’s magnum opus clocking in at almost six minutes long (close to twice the length of the average Metz song.) The track is multi-tiered with many sonic ups and downs proving the band has progressed enormously since their 2012 debut.
Strange Peace will appease both the worst of rock critics and the best of Metz fans as it is an extraordinary effort from a band who remains in its own unique musical realm.