Sound Advice: METZ by METZ
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Sound Advice: METZ by METZ

Local lords of loud bring live energy to their Sub Pop debut.

Local feedback-drenched art-punk noise merchants METZ (yes, it’s always all-capped) have spent the last few years getting normally indifferent Toronto crowds to mosh with almost dangerous abandon. In the last 12 months they’ve also taken their show on tour across North America, winning both accolades and a contract with legendary Seattle alternative label Sub Pop. On their self-titled debut, they do an excellent job of converting their live fury into studio gold.

What makes METZ brilliant is that they’re able to work at more than one speed. “Knife in the Water” and “Get Off” have a surprisingly catchy, poppy core cleverly covered by pounding drums, layers of distortion, and screamed vocals. “Headache” is quite hooky as well, but it is also herky-jerky, creepy, and disorienting, in the best ways possible. (You can listen to “Headache” by clicking on the sample above.) “Wet Blanket” and “Sad Pricks,” on the other hand, are just full-throttle, balls-to-the-wall aggressive, and “Nausea” is hide-behind-the-sofa frightening.

For a genre based in rebellion, punk rock is oddly conservative. Songs are supposed to be loud, fast, and short, and anything outside of that is considered “not punk.” METZ are all of those things, but they’re also diverse, sonically dense, and challenging. In the immortal words of Refused, METZ may be the shape of punk to come.