Atlas Vending

METZ

Atlas Vending

"Our first couple of records were certainly intentionally abrasive, and short, and concise, and we didn't really want to do too much musically," vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins tells Apple Music about METZ's new album Atlas Vending. "But that can get old, for the player and for the listener. So we're definitely excited to be stretching out a bit and giving things time, giving all the instruments space." The album's 10 tracks maintain the band's furious nature, but Ben Greenberg's production gives each song the space to explore new dynamics, resulting in METZ delving into new sonic territories on songs like the soaring "Framed by the Comet's Tail" and the hypnotic seven-and-a-half-minute closer "A Boat to Drown In." "This record doesn't feel quite as like you're trapped," says Edkins. "We wanted to make it really listenable. We're really pleased with how it all turned out. And, you know, also kind of happy that we still seem to be growing." Here, Edkins takes Apple Music through Atlas Vending track by track.
Pulse “Usually it doesn't work this way, but 'Pulse' was the first song written for the album. And it really didn't change from the demo, other than the instrumentation. We took out the drum machine. We considered leaving it in, because that would be something new, but we're always thinking about how to perform it. And I think we kind of knew right away on hearing it that it would kind of fit the bill for an album opener. Kind of like a slow burn, to let people into the album before kind of opening the door.”
Blind Youth Industrial Park “We almost left it off the record because we felt, although it felt great to play and really had kind of a great feel, we didn't know if it was pushing forward enough. But we were excited by the fact that the chorus seemed to really juxtapose the main kind of hefty riff. It was a little bit of a Cro-Mags thing, followed by like a dreamier chorus.”
The Mirror “That was one of the toughest ones to wrangle. We had to cut it down a few times, because its runtime was getting super long. We just kind of got locked in that groove and never wanted to stop it. So it was all sort of this Gang of Four-inspired, kind of choppy thing. It’s kind of one of the more complex songs on the record.”
No Ceiling “For every kind of ‘The Mirror’ or ‘Hail Taxi’ song we have, I usually have a couple that are just straight-up more old-school punk-rock songs. Influenced by Buzzcocks or The Damned and stuff like that. It's about my son being born and kind of how he changed my outlook on life and the world and everything. So it's, dare I say, a happy song.”
Hail Taxi “That beginning riff has been around forever. On this version, it's got this really weird '60s drum feel thing that ties it all together. And yeah, I'm glad we didn't give up on it, because I think, as a whole, it's one of my favorites we've ever done. By adding new melody and a sort of patience to a song that maybe if we had approached six years ago or so we would have probably just pummeled through it.”
Draw Us In “This has a type of groove we've never attempted, really. Just that tempo and that kind of groove is something we've just never been drawn to before. It shows off the production. Like that drum intro kind of shows off Seth [Manchester] and his insane skills, basically. I just love the drums sound on that intro.”
Sugar Pill “We kind of spliced two songs together, to be honest. I think it's noticeable, but feels really good to do this kind of abrupt switch on the verses. It's got this bit of a doomy opening riff, and then gets super poppy at the end, too. It's just about social media and how it is completely addictive and I don't think offering anything of value to anyone, really. Other than being able to communicate across long distances. I think it's becoming a bit of an interruption in my life more than anything. And I see it mostly for the negative things it brings to everyone around me.”
Framed by the Comet’s Tail “Maybe my favorite song on the record, just has a different vibe for us. More open, more meandering and flowing than anything we've done. It's just got this seasickness, but also reminds me of bands I liked, like The Sound, and Echo & The Bunnymen, as far as where it gets to at the end. It’s one of those songs where it shows that we've progressed as musicians and a band. Being able to play that song is challenging for us. And I'm glad that we're being able to spread our wings a bit and get to that new place. It's a little bit more demanding. It's a little bit more intricate. And it's a little bit more beautiful in the end.”
Parasite “I see punk music and hardcore and whatever you want to call it as such a positive influence on my life, and just music in general. And I just want to keep it that way. I don't want to let kind of negative influences ruin it for me. A lot of people want to try to cut people down to make themselves feel, I think, bigger or stronger. And it's kind of speaking to that. Now I want to stay focused on what matters. As I get older, and am a father, it's just like, don't get caught up in the small stuff.”
A Boat to Drown In “This one is obviously a departure for us. In some ways. I'd say it could be connected to something like 'Raw Materials' from Strange Peace, in that there's certainly a part A and a part B. But I love the dreaminess. I think the intention was to get into this hypnotic zone, into this, you know, maybe slightly inspired by bands like Neu! and stuff like that. Just kind of let the groove take over. I can see the protagonist kind of driving off into the sunset, leaving the album behind or something. You know, like leaving that world behind. You're in this sort of pretty intense landscape, and then that ending can just take you out of it.”

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