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Combining the raw punk urgency of trailblazers like Ramones and The Clash with the jagged soundscapes of descendants such as Mission of Burma and Nine Inch Nails, the roaring Toronto trio METZ has been producing glorious, purifying noise for nearly a decade. Atlas Vending, their terrific fourth studio album, reveals surprising diversity within the fury, without diminishing any of its thrilling intensity. The music still bangs like a migraine, and singer-guitarist Alex Edkins continues to embody desperate insistence, whether ranting about damaged love or shouting, “Blind youth, there ain’t no going back to it.” But the band also sculpts the chaos into something transcendent, masterfully layering harsh textures to create a severe, hypnotic beauty; “A Boat to Drown In,” the nearly eight-minute closing track, could induce a healing trance or a panic attack. More than a blast of power, Atlas Vending harnesses its exhilarating force with mind-expanding finesse.
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