Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

Metz - 100 Club, London 03/03/15

05 March 2015, 09:02 | Written by James Appleyard

Usually, when a band hears some latent feedback buzzing through the speakers as they’re about to start their set, they ask the sound engineer to turn it down. But if you’re Metz, you ask for it to be turned up. The Toronto three-piece have a well earned reputation for providing raucous sweaty live shows delivering their high octane, discordant hard rock, and tonight that reputation was established beyond any doubt.

True to their die-hard DIY ethos, the band set up the stage themselves as the sold out crowd crammed itself into London’s legendary 100 Club. The front rows began jostling with pent-up energy like oversized sticks of TNT ready to be ignited, and Metz provided the spark as they launched head long into well worn live favourite “Dirty Shirt”. The onslaught jolted the crowd into a frenzied pool of arms and legs as the bulldozer guitar riffs and pummelling fuzz of the bass shook the fabric of the room.

But Metz were here to showcase their imminent second album as bassist Chris Slorach made clear when he casually said “we’re gonna play a bunch of new stuff, if that’s OK”. The crowd obliged with a rush of cheers and the band answered back with an intense rendition of the new riff-heavy track “The Swimmer”, taken from their impending II. The track was a short sharp punch of brain rattling distortion and staccato pick-scrapping driven by relentless cymbal crashes.

Launching straight into recent single and album stand-out “Acetate”, Metz immediately reignited the crowd. The front rows, by now dripping with sweat, jostled for position as people took their turn to be lifted up towards the low ceiling. The steady roll of “Spit You Out” harboured the band’s more melodic side and captured a sing/shout along from the throng who joined vocalist Alex Edkins in the chorus before he broke into a feedback laden solo, saturated and smiling. The whole thing came across as though the band were birthing the long lost lovechild of No Age and Pissed Jeans.

The band then shifted into a more mellow gear (well, as mellow as it’s possible to get at a Metz gig) with ‘Kicking a Can of Worms”, the closer from their new album. The song saw the band show off their more sludgy side as the resonating bass provided the backbone of the track and steadily built over the high-end guitar like a dismantled version of Wire briskly reconstructed by a boozy fraternity of grunge kids.

Metz always had the crowd in their crosshairs and shot off a rapid-fire rendition of first album tracks by way of “The Mule” closely followed by set closer “Wet Blanket”, the opening of which saw the crowd erupt as though the soles of everyone’s shoes had been packed with nitroglycerine. By this time, the security had given up any pretence of keeping order and the band flung themselves between the repeated stage divers and wayward beer cups being hurled at the stage - the customary show of rock ’n’ roll appreciation.

By the time it was all over, ears were ringing, shoes were lost and Metz had shown once again that if you go to one of their shows, you’d better be prepared.

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