Batpiss kicked things off with a blistering set of punk rock riffs and barked/screamed vocals with rhythmic deviations and a melodic interplay between the guitar and bass elevating them above generic thrashers. One song dropped the BPM considerably, for part of it at least, with the resultant dark and doomy groove sounding like Earth and a sign that the band can match their live intensity and tight delivery with interesting dynamics.
TV Colours haven’t been around long yet they’ve quickly risen from underground acclaim to poking their noses over the barricades with their album Purple Skies, Toxic River starting to appear in end-of-year best-of lists. From what started as a one-man project, the full band showed they can deliver the music with a real confidence and they delivered a damn impressive set. From the uber-anthem Beverly to songs that started in one stylistic dimension and ended up in another they nailed the sonic and emotive desperation of the album with ease. The quartet mined Husker Du and Sonic Youth, Thin Lizzy riffs, new wave and post punk anxiety and jerky neurosis with frontman Robin Mukerjee leading the charge and from the audience enthusiasm it felt like we’d all witnessed an important moment in the rising star of TV Colours.
That left METZ with work to do if they wanted to claim headline honours and the relentlessly touring Canadian trio rose to the occasion superbly. A few songs into their industrial hardcore onslaught the Goodgod pit started building up momentum with bodies careening into one another in response to the band’s physical and deafening performance. There were old songs, sneak peaks of new songs, a cover of The Damned’s Neat, Neat Neat and a healthy slab of their self-titled album played. As a unit METZ are brutally tight and they never let up. The only hiccup of their set was a power outage onstage which momentarily halted their momentum. It mattered little though and seemed to galvanise band and punters to push even harder. They finished with an extended version of Wet Blanket that was the perfect summation of METZ as a live experience with sweat soaked musicians, neck-bulging screams, a pulverising rhythm section in full flight and audience members overflowing onto the stage and being lifted high into the lights and mirror ball on the ceiling with joyful exuberance.
This review was first published in The Music