As I did with Poliça’s debut, Give You The Ghost, I wrote about METZ’s shearing self-titled debut as part of my top 12 albums of 2012. It came in at #8 on the list.
You’ll find my newest observations at the bottom, but here’s the original review in its entirety:
The thing I love the most about music is its ability to come out of left field with that “shock and awe, y’all.” That rush you get the first time hearing a band that was recommended or one you just happened upon. It’s what every lover of music is constantly striving for- what’s new, what’s next. If the tense energy of seeking out new music could somehow be captured or contained or used as, I don’t know, fuel, something something, profit, oil crisis averted.
The self-titled full-length debut from the Toronto-based Metz is my pleasant surprise of the year. METZ is raw, energetic, and an end-to-end jammer.
I love noise rock (or experimental punk or whatever else you want to call it. Titles embarrass me, lay off, you’re not my real mom). So, so much. It’s a very straightforward, no-nonsense, sheer off your earlobes approach to loud music. Bands like HEALTH, Lightning Bolt, Sex Positions, Melt Banana, The Locust, Death From Above 1979, Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, and Liars all take a roundabout approach to the concept of music.
METZ, like its spiritual brethren, combine frantic, frenetic, yet determined drums, with fuzzy, driving bass and angular guitars. I was hooked on my first listen through and as evidenced by my Last.fm, have been all over it since.
If you wade through the slagheap of what music has become in the last 5 years, there’s still some good left to be had. Metz proves just that.
And if the album gives you a headache and you need to take a spell, the last track is just silence. So, there’s that.
On a scale from “The Red Hot Chili Peppers” to Night of the Living Dead, I give Metz a solid “poignant/killer use of Helvetica.”
Thoughts on METZ since last year:
A few weeks after METZ was released, I tweeted that I would love to see a METZ/Loma Prieta tour just so I can get my yearly quota of noise rock out, all in one show. It very well almost happened a few weeks ago.
Here in town, we have a pretty popular venue called the Skate Park of Tampa (SPoT to Tampans – no, we aren’t Tampons). We all know that skate kids love only three brands of music: gangster rap, hip-hop, and punk rock.
As part of their 20th anniversary weekend, SPoT sponsored a series of shows here in the Tampa Bay area. I guess Lil’ Wayne had recovered enough from the sizzurp in order to make an appearance at the SPoT, his “home away from home away from home” or at the Machine Gun Kelly (whoever that is) performance at the Amphitheater, a medium-sized hall.
Down the street from Amp is the facility formerly known as The Masquerade, shut down a few years ago for a stabbing incident where some guy died. You know, an “if these walls could talk” situation.
Anyway, Big Boi headlined the show at the venue now known as The Ritz; METZ opened, thus completing the hip-hop/punk show mash-up. I was disappointed to find out when I got to Ritz that Killer Mike was not on the show, but it looks like the BB/KM tour is coming back in June, so I’ll have to hit that up.
METZ was so raw in front of one of the stranger audiences I’ve ever been a part of. See, the thing about hip-hop, and even rap of the gangster persuasion, is that white folk like myself love it in the least ironic way possible. If you’ve read anything else I’ve written this year, you may have seen that I appreciate a variety of genres and styles. I happen to have a sweet spot for groups like the Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A., Public Enemy, and newer artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Killer Mike, Big Boi/OutKast and the like. This should come as no surprise, in spite of my being white and nerdy.
The point is, there were a lot of dudes just like me at the show: dweeby Caucasians who came to geek out to some old OutKast, but enjoy 30 minutes of noise rock as a warm-up.
Strange as it was, METZ was well received, which surprised me considering 95% (which is, admittedly, a generously low estimate) of the crowd was there to see Big Boi. It takes some gall to get on stage in front of an unsuspecting audience. I was equally surprised by how much noise 3 dudes were capable of making.
Hard to find anything wrong with this record. It’s a lot of noise. What more could you possibly ask for? METZ is a solid debut, and I’m stoked to see what they’re able to produce next.
From one of the top releases of 2012, this is METZ’s “Rats” –
Standout tracks: “Sad Pricks” and “Knife in the Water”
Weakest track: “–))–”
RIYL: Noise rock, noise punk, post-punk, post-hardcore. The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower, Jesus Lizard.