The Latest from METZ and Mother Mother
Sub Pop Records
Well-respected Seattle label Sub Pop made a surprising acquisition this summer by signing Canadian post-punk band METZ. Only three months later, the group has built a strong reputation with their debut album following and an extensive fall tour, including a stop at POP Montreal.
Directly from the extremely rich noise rock scene in Toronto, METZ’s debut album is as loud as a motorboat.
The album opens to loud distorted drums that immediately make your feet stomp. Many words could be used to describe the group’s minimalist and loud rock, but I will use “spirited”—the spirit of pure adrenaline.
A mix of grunge and punk inhabits the 10 tracks of the album. No pretensions of grandeur, just the simple authenticity of an up-and-coming garage band.
The electric guitars’ screeching and feedback are extremely complementary to the neurotic singing of leader Alex Edkins. The band’s fans have been waiting for this first LP for quite some time now, and they will be more than satisfied. Everything about METZ that helped their following grow strong is reinforced with their eponymous debut.
For the common music lover, however, the album does feel like a first. The songs end up sounding a little repetitive, especially during the second half. It would be nice to find more characterized songs, even if the overall product is highly addictive.
Last Gang Records
With their soon-to-be released fourth LP, The Sticks, Vancouver-based Mother Mother expands their repertoire of masterfully produced folk-based rock songs.
The album will appeal to fans of the band’s first two albums Touch Up (2007) and Oh My Heart (2008), which were more folky than their third album, Eureka (2011). But Eureka remains unmatched in terms of emotional impact. Rest assured songs like “Little Pistol” and “Dread in My Heart” are made up of quirky melodies that fans love and expect from Mother Mother.
The first 30 seconds of “The Cry Forum,” on the other hand, may seem too awkwardly intense for such a bittersweet and lyrical band.
The Sticks is laced with harmonies that make Mother Mother stand out from an overwhelming number of folk-indie bands. The up-beat “Infinitesimal” stands out as one of the quirkier songs on the album.
I’d hoped to hear more songs like “Bit by Bit” which opens with the lyrics:
Bit by bit, I’m going to get my bricks out in the sticks,
Bit by bit, I’m going to build my house in the wildest thickets.
The song’s intensity is matched by the album title track. The songs’ lyrics contain similar mountain and forest imagery as well as themes of isolation and repression.
Despite The Sticks’ solid track list, this album did not completely meet my expectations. The band’s fourth album lacks the passion of the powerful tracks heard in Eureka, and is lacking the lyrical ingenuity and storytelling of Oh My Heart. However, it is a successfully eclectic blend of folky and electric rock songs whose catchy melodies that will likely get stuck in your head.