Metz – II
One of the problems with hardcore is that you can only do so much with it. The Replacements discovered that limitation after Sorry Ma Forgot To Take Out The Trash. They switched over the course of two albums to a much rootsier version of themselves, taking their hardcore roots along into a more generalistic approach. Same with Husker Du, whose monolith of American hardcore – Zen Arcade – showed cracks of folk and straight up rock (New Day Rising would go on to widen those cracks considerably). Ian MacKaye could only sustain the white-hot minute-long intensity of Minor Threat for so long before cutting out to broaden his horizons with Fugazi.
Metz has not learned this lesson. Coming off of a very well regarded self-titled debut, the Toronto band has chosen to double down on their sound and reproduce another album of crushing modern hardcore. While this is nice – METZ was a great album after all – it does nothing to advance them at all. II is the sound of a band perfectly content to tread water, which is an inadvisable career move in 2015. Where the first album felt fresh, II just comes off as a stale retread, which is a real shame considering the possibilities.