Cat No: SPCD1560

With time, we come to understand the way the joy of connection is mirrored by the void of loss, how the constancy of love is matched only by the impermanence of life, the simple idea that we could not create light if we did not risk the dark—we’d never need to.

So it is with METZ, a band once known for blowing out eardrums with songs of joyous rage who have, over their past few records, begun exploring ways to turn abrasiveness into atmospherics, the evolution of their sound not only a reflection of the maturing of the band themselves but also of a changed world that demands nuance and compassion to comprehend and to survive.

 

It was a journey already underway on 2020’s Atlas Vending, but one that reaches new heights on Up On Gravity Hill, where the Canadian trio creates a kaleidoscopic sonic world as tender as it is dark, aided once again by engineer Seth Manchester (Mdou Moctar, Lingua Ignota, Battles, The Body). Deep, detailed, and unyieldingly personal, it is not only METZ’s most powerful record to date but also their most beautiful.

 

Still three punks from Ontario at heart, guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins, drummer Hayden Menzies, and bassist Chris Slorach waste no time as opener “No Reservation/Love Comes Crashing” sweeps in like a wave, sonically and thematically setting the scene for the record to come. A dynamic song about feeling suspended in stasis, layers of dissonance melt into a restlessly heady outro marked by escalating crescendos of shimmering noise that reach for the stars—and is that a violin quivering brightly beneath those elegant swells of guitar, those charging drum fills, those intricate bass lines? It is indeed, courtesy of composer Owen Pallett; his presence an immediate indicator that METZ are thinking more cinematically than ever before.

 

The change is partially inspired by Edkins’ work as a scorer for film and television and his pop-leaning solo project, Weird Nightmare, where, he says, he learned to write more intuitively, letting his emotions lead the way. But make no mistake: Up On Gravity Hill is a total band effort, the work of three musicians who have been playing together for over a decade, with all the trust that entails.

 

For those who believe in the power of the rock band to exemplify the highest resonance of human connection, there is much on Up On Gravity Hill to lift the spirit, a puzzle worth repeated listening to unlock or just to get lost in again and again. Rather than the music being flattened into a single plane, the band explores “the space above the cymbals,” resulting in some of the most spacious, sympathetic, and accessible songs—could we call them pop?—of their career. If this seems contradictory, well, METZ has always been something of a contradiction. “We’ve never been heavy enough for metal or hardcore purists, but we’re way too heavy for indie rock. We just don’t have a lane—and that’s okay. We exist outside the lines of delineation. I think this record is even more like that,” says Edkins.

  1. No Reservation / Love Comes Crashing
  2. Glass Eye
  3. Entwined (Street Light Buzz)
  4. 99
  5. Superior Mirage
  6. Wound Tight
  7. Never Still Again
  8. Light Your Way Home

Up On Gravity Hill

From £9.99

Cat No: SPCD1560

With time, we come to understand the way the joy of connection is mirrored by the void of loss, how the constancy of love is matched only by the impermanence of life, the simple idea that we could not create light if we did not risk the dark—we’d never need to.

So it is with METZ, a band once known for blowing out eardrums with songs of joyous rage who have, over their past few records, begun exploring ways to turn abrasiveness into atmospherics, the evolution of their sound not only a reflection of the maturing of the band themselves but also of a changed world that demands nuance and compassion to comprehend and to survive.

It was a journey already underway on 2020’s Atlas Vending, but one that reaches new heights on Up On Gravity Hill, where the Canadian trio creates a kaleidoscopic sonic world as tender as it is dark, aided once again by engineer Seth Manchester (Mdou Moctar, Lingua Ignota, Battles, The Body). Deep, detailed, and unyieldingly personal, it is not only METZ’s most powerful record to date but also their most beautiful.

Still three punks from Ontario at heart, guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins, drummer Hayden Menzies, and bassist Chris Slorach waste no time as opener “No Reservation/Love Comes Crashing” sweeps in like a wave, sonically and thematically setting the scene for the record to come. A dynamic song about feeling suspended in stasis, layers of dissonance melt into a restlessly heady outro marked by escalating crescendos of shimmering noise that reach for the stars—and is that a violin quivering brightly beneath those elegant swells of guitar, those charging drum fills, those intricate bass lines? It is indeed, courtesy of composer Owen Pallett; his presence an immediate indicator that METZ are thinking more cinematically than ever before.

The change is partially inspired by Edkins’ work as a scorer for film and television and his pop-leaning solo project, Weird Nightmare, where, he says, he learned to write more intuitively, letting his emotions lead the way. But make no mistake: Up On Gravity Hill is a total band effort, the work of three musicians who have been playing together for over a decade, with all the trust that entails.

For those who believe in the power of the rock band to exemplify the highest resonance of human connection, there is much on Up On Gravity Hill to lift the spirit, a puzzle worth repeated listening to unlock or just to get lost in again and again. Rather than the music being flattened into a single plane, the band explores “the space above the cymbals,” resulting in some of the most spacious, sympathetic, and accessible songs—could we call them pop?—of their career. If this seems contradictory, well, METZ has always been something of a contradiction. “We’ve never been heavy enough for metal or hardcore purists, but we're way too heavy for indie rock. We just don't have a lane—and that's okay. We exist outside the lines of delineation. I think this record is even more like that,” says Edkins.

No Reservation / Love Comes Crashing                  
Glass Eye             
Entwined (Street Light Buzz)       
99          
Superior Mirage               
Wound Tight      
Never Still Again              
Light Your Way Home

Cat No: SP1560X

With time, we come to understand the way the joy of connection is mirrored by the void of loss, how the constancy of love is matched only by the impermanence of life, the simple idea that we could not create light if we did not risk the dark—we’d never need to.

So it is with METZ, a band once known for blowing out eardrums with songs of joyous rage who have, over their past few records, begun exploring ways to turn abrasiveness into atmospherics, the evolution of their sound not only a reflection of the maturing of the band themselves but also of a changed world that demands nuance and compassion to comprehend and to survive.

It was a journey already underway on 2020’s Atlas Vending, but one that reaches new heights on Up On Gravity Hill, where the Canadian trio creates a kaleidoscopic sonic world as tender as it is dark, aided once again by engineer Seth Manchester (Mdou Moctar, Lingua Ignota, Battles, The Body). Deep, detailed, and unyieldingly personal, it is not only METZ’s most powerful record to date but also their most beautiful.

Still three punks from Ontario at heart, guitarist and vocalist Alex Edkins, drummer Hayden Menzies, and bassist Chris Slorach waste no time as opener “No Reservation/Love Comes Crashing” sweeps in like a wave, sonically and thematically setting the scene for the record to come. A dynamic song about feeling suspended in stasis, layers of dissonance melt into a restlessly heady outro marked by escalating crescendos of shimmering noise that reach for the stars—and is that a violin quivering brightly beneath those elegant swells of guitar, those charging drum fills, those intricate bass lines? It is indeed, courtesy of composer Owen Pallett; his presence an immediate indicator that METZ are thinking more cinematically than ever before.

The change is partially inspired by Edkins’ work as a scorer for film and television and his pop-leaning solo project, Weird Nightmare, where, he says, he learned to write more intuitively, letting his emotions lead the way. But make no mistake: Up On Gravity Hill is a total band effort, the work of three musicians who have been playing together for over a decade, with all the trust that entails.

For those who believe in the power of the rock band to exemplify the highest resonance of human connection, there is much on Up On Gravity Hill to lift the spirit, a puzzle worth repeated listening to unlock or just to get lost in again and again. Rather than the music being flattened into a single plane, the band explores “the space above the cymbals,” resulting in some of the most spacious, sympathetic, and accessible songs—could we call them pop?—of their career. If this seems contradictory, well, METZ has always been something of a contradiction. “We’ve never been heavy enough for metal or hardcore purists, but we're way too heavy for indie rock. We just don't have a lane—and that's okay. We exist outside the lines of delineation. I think this record is even more like that,” says Edkins.

No Reservation / Love Comes Crashing                  
Glass Eye             
Entwined (Street Light Buzz)       
99          
Superior Mirage               
Wound Tight      
Never Still Again              
Light Your Way Home

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Genre:Rock Record Label:Sub Pop Release Date:12/04/2024
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