Noise Rock | Punk Rock
I was honestly surprised that I had to venture over to Album Of The Year’s new releases to ultimately discover this album, but Atlas Vending is the fourth and newest studio album by Metz, a noise rock outfit who, while I haven’t critically listened to their work prior to this album, have been a band that has been in the back of my mind, as well as an act I have been lucky enough to enjoy live.
I had always felt a mild sense of interest in the likes of Metz, and have a generally positive outlook towards some of their previous works, such as 2015’s II, and 2017’s Strange Peace, which was definitely a positive thing to feel, when one considers that noise rock is far from my favourite genre of music (this is coming from the person who still thinks that Daughters’ You Won’t Get What You Want) was a solid 7.
But given the current situation with the apparent scarcity of new music, Atlas Vending was definitely the most enticing fruit on the musical tree currently. Therefore, I have finally decided to take the plunge into Metz’s music with a critical mind, via this new album.
And things certainly seemed promising when I essentially previewed this album by skimming across some of the tracks. One thing I instantly noticed, is the kind of intensity that serves as one of the main good qualities of noise rock.
But in my first time around listening to Atlas Vending properly, there was one glaring issue that felt like it was holding this album back from being truly great; that being the overuse of droning and repetitive sounds that is arguably one of the main reasons behind why the genre as a whole is not my favourite. At this stage, there were still a few tracks that carried a more punk-like sound, which ultimately made those tunes far more enjoyable. But there were also those that really took me out of the moment, and let me feeling without immersion.
However, with the following listens I conducted, I found that those non-immersive tracks ultimately felt fewer the more I listened on, and my opinion of the album was growing towards a more positive light. Tracks like “Hail Taxi” and “Parasite” are probably the best examples of tracks that just needed a little bit of time to grow on me.
But as of now, I feel that the three tracks that served as the worst offenders for carrying droning and unexciting sounds would be “The Mirror”, “Draw Us In”, and “Framed by the Comet’s Trail”, and they ultimately feel like the songs that borrow most from the more uninspired stereotypes of noise rock.
But on the flip-side, there were quite a few tracks that felt enjoyable from the very first listen. Most notably, I felt that Atlas Vending ended on a gigantic high with the closing track “A Boat to Drown In”. It was the more melodic build of this tunes instrumentation, along with the consistently energetic rhythm, that made me really like this one.
But all-in-all, I feel that the most fitting verdict that I could give for my experience of this album, is that Atlas Vending is the kind of album that only needs a few more listens than usual, to become something of a very enjoyable piece. I am also confident that Metz have won me over into listening out for whatever they may have planned for the future, with this piece, which stands as one of my more revered noise-rock albums.
Favourite Tracks: No Ceiling | Sugar Pill | A Boat to Drown In
Least Favourite Track: The Mirror
Sub Pop Records