Four years after Mother of Red Light made a dent on our psyches, meth. return with SHAME. Seven tracks of blistering, visceral agony. For the first time, the band wrote as a unit, indicating a shift in focus. Vocalist Seb Alvarez focussed on the lyrical and thematic elements of the album and created more room for his bandmates to thrive. The ominous sound of SHAME is littered with experimental flourishes, as meth. lean into noise rock and metal simultaneously. There is an industrial bleakness to the album that propels it along, at some points as though through gritted teeth. Operating under a remit that included avoiding a reliance on riffs, meth. instead let rhythm – specifically their drums – carry the weight and forward motion of their compositions.

SHAME by meth. will be released via Prosthetic Records on February 2, 2024.

We asked the band to talk to us about some of meth.’s main influences, and drummer Andrew Smith got back to us with the following choices….

Swans – To Be Kind

The pummelling atmosphere of To Be Kind guided a lot of what came out of those sessions when we were writing Shame. Many of the primal and repetitive sections of the album were inspired by this record. For me personally, the heavy use of china cymbals and auxiliary drum sounds, as well as the addition of some percussion parts, came right from this record, not to mention other Swans releases. Songs like ‘Screen Shot’ or ‘Bring The Sun/Toussaint L’Ouverture’ really hit this on the head, I think. I wanted it to sound like there was another person playing drums with me on certain moments of the album. They are a band that has influenced this band from the very beginning and can be traced to so many of our ideas. We have always wanted our sound to be ruthless and unforgiving but also transcendental and awe-striking.

Imperial TriumphantVile Luxury

The very raw and uncompromising nature of this album is something a good few of us aspired to when we started writing the new record. I think this album really inspired a lot of the “noise guitar” passages we included on Shame. For me, after hearing this album, I knew that something in this wheelhouse would be the next step for meth. After so many listens too, this album is what got me to really step it up in the drum department. I wanted to hold no boundaries and think far outside the box. Also, we love Colin Marston’s production style, hence why we had him mix and master our record, too.

Gilla Band Holding Hands With Jamie

This record was an absolute game-changer for me. Maybe the first band I ever listened to whose sound was just wailing guitar noise all of the time. Their sound is so unhinged and energizing, and they love to push the boundaries of what is possible instrumentally. They are another group where I find that they focus a lot on atmosphere and painting the perfect aural picture for how they want their music to sound. I love the way this record is so room-focused in its production style, too. It helped guide me to the mental space where I wanted Shame to end up when we recorded it. We really wanted to make sure that we had excellent room sounds, mostly in the drums and guitars, to give a sense of rawness and depth. It really took the atmosphere of our record to the next level, making it more congested and dirty sounding.

Throbbing Gristle 20 Jazz Funk Greats

If you know this album, you know that this is one of the strangest, most harrowing releases out there. While their sound is nothing similar to meth. at all, this group’s concepts of experimentation, pushing your tools to their absolute limits, and working with what you have at your disposal to make great songs really spoke to me. I knew exactly what setup I wanted to use when we started making this record, and I stuck to it, incorporating what I had as I saw fit and making sure everything was used to its highest potential, such as one drum fill on the record where I use every single cymbal I have in my setup in a single measure or the scream that Seb does in ‘Compulsion’ that lasts for 30 seconds – nothing was off limits on Shame and this is a mentality I will carry with me throughout the rest of our existence as a group.

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