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METZ – Up on Gravity Hill (Sub Pop)

12 April 2024

“I’m wound so tight my head could pop,” shouts frontman Alex Edkins, summing up the vibe on the thrilling fifth studio album from METZ. The Toronto trio continues to mine beautiful noise from its signature fusion of punk and metal, but has avoided painting itself into a corner by tampering with the sound here and there, adding Owen Pallett’s violin to “No Reservation / Love Comes Crashing,” recruiting Amber Webber of Black Mountain for a haunting vocal duet on the surprisingly tender “Light Your Way Home” and subtly varying textures throughout. Still, Up on Gravity Hill is defined by the same relentless tension that made previous outings so gripping, desperately grasping for relief on “Entwined (Street Light Buzz)” and “Superior Mirage,” and repeatedly finding just enough strength to confront one more trauma. Wondrous.