Sunday, May 26, 2013

Metz - Metz

Channeling the brutal rhythms of the Jesus Lizard and rendering the power-trio format to its very essence is always going to get an approving nod from your truly, but the point where I want to smack you across the face to take notice of the band Metz is almost immediately after the first listen of their self-titled debut.

Metz has spent the last five years stripping their best thirty minutes into this stunning release and it is of such head-nodding caliber that you may as well invest in a bottle of Excedrin on the way home from the record store.

And what a coincidence! The album begins with the driving “Headache,” which perfectly kicks things off with Hayden Menzies’ drumming, a man who hammers the skins like a dimwitted cousin of Dave Grohl-and that’s a compliment.

Menzies is usually joined at the hip with bassist Chris Slorach who is a one trick pony of quarter notes and piston simplicity-and that’s a compliment too.

But the band’s creative and chief noise monger is Alex Edkins who manages to sound like his destroying his larynx and his amplifier simultaneously. Nonstop. For a solid half-hour.

Metz is filled with dissonant guitars and cavestomp glee, causing Edkins to yell out “Woo!” like a punk rock Rick Flair during several songs. And while it may indeed be equal parts showboating and exasperation, it’s deserved. Metz shows a narrow focus and replicates the same formulas (jackhammer rhythms, dissonant note bends) throughout several songs, but the record builds up so much momentum that you can’t help but admire that this one, singular thing that Metz does, they do it very well.

Edkins doesn’t share Yow’s garbled rambles in his own vein-popping delivery. His is very prĂ©cise and channeled, but as cathartic as his screaming is, Metz contains a very intentional pop element. It does little to minimize the very real power these three Toronto residents present on their full-bodied document, but it does wonders for repeated listens.

They could retire now and feel good about having their only recorded history be a worthy artifact. But let me be selfish for a moment and say, that I hope the band is able to pound the collective Jesus out of this thing on the road and still have something that’s at least half as good as this debut.

There’s a very clear indication that this band can take their path in any number of different directions. Whatever path happens to be, Metz will shine bright throughout their career and has the potential to inspire others to examine the fertile grounds of whiplashed post-punk rhythms and channeled dissonant aggression.

1 comment:

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