METZ is another band playing at the FYF Fest this year. I have seen them several times but I want to catch them again as their shows are always an empowering experience with the ghost of Nirvana floating above their explosive sound. I saw them for the first time in 2012 at the Echo and this was my experience at the time:
Music can do a lot of things, it can move you, entertain you, makes you dance, and there is almost no limit to what music can do to your brain, even transporting you into another dimension you haven’t though about earlier.
Canadian band METZ were playing at the Echo on Wednesday night, and I decided to go at the last minute, mid-week late-night shows being always killers, but I can’t tell you I haven’t any regret. The only thing I can complain about was their too short set, leaving everybody in the room in the expectative after 40 minutes or so,… were they coming back for a few more songs? No, that was it, the fury had come and gone, it was fast and brief, but the ravage in my eardrums was real. Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach were only three on stage but they built a brutally furious sound, as if they were an army, they were a force playing at unison with heavy bass and super loud drumming, building a tremendous sonic furnace, a wall moving like a cyclone force 10, emerging like another entity in the room. During the whole set, I was kind of protected from the furious mosh pit by a guy in a wheel chair on my left, so I was able to stay in the front, but soon, people – and I should say guys, it certainly was male music as I was surrounded by about 90% of men – began crowd surfing, which was not pleasing the security guards, but was on the contrary making the band very happy.
Happy? Yes, visibly very happy to be playing in Los Angeles for the first time in front of a rather large crowd. Nevertheless, their songs were angry, producing a mean sound chasing you non-stop, running after you like a vicious predator. I was watching Hayden Menzies’ dance with his bass, going back and front, jumping in repeat, while Alex Edkins on guitar was less active since he was the one doing the screaming vocals in front of the mic. The lyrics were undecipherable but, since they were sounding desperate, buried in reverb and crushed by the blaring riffs, they were part of the scaring atmosphere.
Honestly, it was a huge, massive skull-crushing sound, a live force materializing in front of you, tons and tons of saturation and discordance, mixing fast pounding-thundering drums, as loud as you can imagine, with a punk hardcore spirit of destruction, and elements of psychedelia and grunge,.. For a noise-hardcore band (can we really call them like this?) they were not delivering the usual series of violent riffs without some underlying kicking ass melodies, played very fast like on ‘Get Off’, the kind of thing that was making everybody violently bang their heads very fast at the risk of breaking some necks. And other songs, like ‘Wet Blanket’ had the sound of a surf psychedelic band (The Oh Sees?) ready to deliver a Napalm bomb, whereas others, like ‘Wasted’, were the Nirvana-esque menacing-despair type on steroids. After unleashing such a beast, which was moshing alone by itself, they stopped abruptly and left the stage in a flash.
The only negative thing I could say was that some of their songs had very similar riffs and were throwing in our faces an apocalypse in repeat, but since it was done with so much relentless and powerful energy, nobody complained. Actually it may have been one of the reasons why their show was so short, nobody got the time to get bored, and the crowd moved right to the merchandize table just after the show, visibly wanting more of this staggering wall-crumbling noise rock.
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