Search The Line of Best Fit
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Metz – The Brudenell Social Club, Leeds 30/01/13

06 February 2013, 11:30 | Written by Hayley Scott

Photograph by Matthew McAndrew taken at The Art School, Glasgow 22/10/12

It’s not surprising to learn that Metz made their debut album with only one record label in mind; Toronto’s noise-rock trio contain all the key facets needed to comfortably fit into Sub-Pop’s archetypal mold of post-hardcore band with ‘90s grunge inclinations. With a collective nod to Nation of Ulysses, Jesus Lizard and Public Image Ltd, Metz deliver a raucous belligerence welcomed by anyone who extols the virtues of loud, frantic punk music.

With an eponymous debut containing a ferocious aesthetic that’s not too far removed from Bleach era Nirvana, it’s almost impossible not to get lost in one big long comparative slew. Despite their seemingly nostalgic disposition though, tonight Metz demonstrate that they aren’t explicitly copyist in their approach to making music, instead they operate using their own interpretation of this genre, where atypical melodies are melded with scuzzy, straight-forward but carefully crafted rhythms and riffs in short, sharp bursts.

Leeds’ own Bilge Pump, a band who have been a regular fixture of Leeds’ hardcore scene since the mid ‘90s, provide a stirring support tonight. Once infamously branded “unlistenable guff” by the NME, the local trio instead create a welcomed cacophony of jerky, guitar saturated post-punk underpinning Emlyn Jones’ indecipherable vocals and lyrical witticisms, representing a perfectly agreeable amalgamation of punk fractured progressive noise where jazz style rhythms occasionally surface; yes, it’s a no wave menagerie of skewed, discordant ‘pop’ songs devoid of formulaic power chords, and not particularly deserved of the aforesaid contempt.

Metz follow suit with a set that vigorously brings to life the energetic coercion of their debut album. While the band have in fact successfully managed to tackle the often difficult task of translating the aggressive urgency of their live performances onto record, they play the sort of music that is best served in a compact, live environment prone to the creation of colossal noise.

Not content with the formality of performing on stage, the band instead opt for a more intimate approach by playing on the floor but what appears to be some sort of impromptu spontaneity is more likely a well thought-out technique. With a setting that comprises of little to no lighting apart from that of their own floor lamps, and an aberrant aversion to playing on stage, the band exhibit an authenticity reflective of underground punk shows of the ‘90s, and it’s perfectly suited to the raging intensity of what we’re all about to witness. ‘Knife in the Water’ opens their set and sees front man Alex Edkin relentlessly pursue the creation of as much clamoring dissonance as possible, while Hayden brutally attacks his drums and Chris Slorach’s low, pulsing bass-rumbles resonate through us all.

Metz continue to thunderously plough their way through a set comprised mainly of songs from their debut with little room for respite although a number of currently untitled new material is also exhibited. It contains an aesthetic akin to that of their prior efforts, with their signature angular riffs, pounding drums and assailing vocals that coalesce to form a perfect collective. Under this almighty vigor lies a deftness for melody, single ‘Headache’ is a conquering force to be reckoned with, manifested in the sudden hurl of the crowd, while the cogent ‘Wet Blanket’ signals an abrupt finale as feedback emits from the speakers and Alex bawls persistently hunched over his mic as though his life depends on every word. Suddenly everything seems marginally calm in comparison to the chaos that just ensued, but it’s only fleeting; a noticeable buzz begins to disperse throughout the room as Metz prove an aptitude for the sort of kinetic passion and energy so regularly absent in live music.

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