The sophomore release from Toronto noise rock/hardcore punk band Metz, II picks up right where their self titled album left off. It’s an Amphetamine Reptile-like mix of punk, grunge, and shoegaze with loud, fuzzed out guitars, crushing drums and bass, and emotive vocals. Basically II is the epitome of what Robert Christgau derisively calls pigfuck. As with most bands tarred (gifted?) with that label, however, there’s a melodicism to Metz that produces a true depth to their sound. It’s not music to be played around the campfire, but II is perfect for anyone who likes their rock music with a whole lot of bite.
Speaking of fuzzy guitars, although this time in a more downtempo folk infused form, Nashville’s Torres also releases her second album this week. Sprinter is singer-songwriter music heavily influenced by artists like PJ Harvey and Cat Power, but with a vocal sound reminiscent of Heartless Bastards’ Erika Wennerstrom. This is an absolutely lovely album, which ends at its most lovely and touching. “The Exchange” is just some very gentle guitar strumming and the sound of birds providing a base for Mackenzie Scott to sing about her adopted mother (who was also adopted), and the feeling of disconnect from your history that comes with being adopted.
Indie rock, alt country, folk rock, psychedelic…whatever you want to call it, My Morning Jacket have been developing their sound for more than 15 years now, and The Waterfall is the next step in that evolution. Bouncing between tracks with funky grooves, synths, and slide guitar (but always featuring Jim James’ rangey voice), The Waterfall fully embraces the best experiments of MMJ’s last few albums to create what is likely the band’s best since the celebrated Z. Lead single “Big Decisions” is a standout, but the whole album (especially “Spring (Among the Living)”) is perfect for relaxing on a warm summer day.
Also out this week: Best Coast – California Nights, Mikal Cronin – MCIII, and Django Django – Born Under Saturn.
An author and editor at MiG, Craig lives in Minnesota with his wife and son and is an attorney in his real life. Once upon a time Craig played the trumpet and spent four years in the Hawkeye Marching Band and pep band. These days Craig finds himself most often listening to experimental rock, hip hop, and post punk, but you can see everything he's listening to at: www.last.fm/user/cafreema Craig is not ashamed to admit the first concert he ever attended was New Kids on the Block.
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