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  • Published in Albums

Musing and meditating on the theme of relationships in the wider sense of the word (the ones we have with the media, politics, dreams, fears etc.) METZ’s Alex Edkins arrived at the point of origin for the ten tracks which make up the Toronto band’s second album.

Thematically I’ve no idea if the above represents a departure for the band or not as musically they’re happily sailing the same seas of power, pace & distortion as they cruised through on their self-titled debut. Which is perfectly fine with me. Thrashing away for the most part, hollering at the top of their lungs – what are they saying? No idea. Would I read the lyrics if I had a physical disc, box & booklet in my hand? Probably not. Theirs is the kind of music with which you first get the emotion and energy & where the reasoning and words reach you as much through osmosis as through actual hearing.

Having managed to miss the band at the 2013 Le Guess Who? they’ve been on the list of current acts that strike me as worthwhile seeing live for the last couple of years and the quality & sheer verve displayed on II mean that intention remains as strong as ever. It’s an album that will be played repeatedly as the year progresses for the sheer pleasure of it or as the perfect antidote to a shit day in the office or wherever. METZ have provided the music loving public with a perfectly formed 30 or so minutes of catharsis in musical form.

II is available from amazon & iTunes.


Sleater-Kinney – No Cities To Love

  • Published in Albums

Late last year when the announcement came that one of the world’s favourite bands were back together; the musical world was set alight with anticipation. Having reissued their entire back catalogue, the announcement of a new album was imminent; we were not disappointed with what followed, No Cities To Love, their first studio album in ten years.

Opening with ‘Price Tag’, Carrie Brownstein’s trademark vocals fill the air, the intricate guitars liven up the atmosphere. As Brownstein snarls “we never really checked, we never checked the price tag!” having approached this album with some trepidation, would it match up to their previous works and right from the off they’re out to prove that they’re still on top form.

There is an unrelenting energy present in the album, it has been noted by the band themselves that they sound possessed on these tracks, and whilst that may be true, they’re pouring every ounce of effort into these tracks and it really shows. ‘Surface Envy’ has a real swagger to it as the combined voices yell “we win, we lose.”

There’s a real intensity, it’s an album which demands your attention, and they hold you in the palm of their collective hand throughout every intense moment. A perfect exponent of this intensity is the brilliant ‘A New Wave’, one of the faster tracks on the album, which still features phenomenal ramshackle intricacy and Brownstein’s trademark delivery.

It’s followed by ‘No Anthems’ which, whilst it maintains the overall feel of the album, is much slower and more deliberate, there’s a clashing of guitars, a wall of noise, but the track is at the opposite end of the spectrum when compared to the likes of ‘A New Wave’.

‘Hey Darling’ is another track which stands out, as Brownstein’s vocals take to the fore, it’s a little more upbeat than most and fosters more of an indie pop environment. However, the band soon finds their punkier side on closing track ‘Fade’ as they close out in a typically heavy way. ‘Fade’ is somewhat heavier yet it seems a fitting end to such an intense collection of songs.

It’s clear to see that Sleater-Kinney have given No Cities To Love everything they had, at times you could perceive the band as being possessed. However, that effort has truly paid off, this album is the perfect comeback, it’s everything you want to hear from such a ferocious band, they’re back and they’re better than ever.

No Cities To Love is available from amazon and iTunes.

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