by Chris Familton
Since the days when bands like Fugazi, Nirvana and Jesus Lizard ruled the underground of American rock, before death and hiatus cut them short, there’s been a relative sparsity of sonically like-minded bands taking up the mantle set by those and many other acts. Melvins are still carving a unique path and bands like Harvey Milk and Pissed Jeans are promising inheritors but on their debut self-titled LP three Canadians going under the name METZ are kicking out a new take on post-hardcore, industrial-grade punk rock.
At only thirty minutes long this is a pummeling and exhausting listen. Those are of course the type of qualities you want from this kind of music. It lurches and flails like a drunk bison yet it is concise and trimmed of all excess musical fat. Brilliantly recorded to feel live and in your face with needle-in-the-red intensity, the lack of studio sheen was a wise move with the end result more sonically akin to In Utero than Nevermind. All good trios succeed due to a well balanced mix of guitar, bass, drums and vocals. Nothing takes centre-stage, everything moves forward as one and that is where the glorious teeth-grinding tension originates. Whether it is the frantic strut of single Wet Blanket, the cavernous drums of Headache or the queasy dissonance of Nausea the trio are constantly contorting their music into tight riffs and energising rhythmic barrages while Alex Edkins variously castigates the speakers with his voice that staggers between a David Yow yowl and John Lydon rant.
METZ is a brutally endearing listen that knocks you about but it never outstays its welcome. Raw, concise and as much about the sound as the songs, this is the kind of music the world needs right now.