Teetering precariously atop the drumset with guitar touching the ceiling, METZ frontman Alex Edkins is gruff, confrontational and sweaty, adjectives which actually work well to describe this garage noise punk trio’s music itself. Why? Because METZ is the kind of band that makes an ear-splittingly loud set in the backroom of a tiny Logan Square bar well worth the killer post-show headache and temporary hearing loss.
Aggressively fast-paced and in your face, even their name is boldly declared in all-caps, as if to remind you that you’re listening to the band infamously known as one of Toronto’s loudest. For those looking to describe their sound, you can easily tell that they’re influenced by everything from post-hardcore to 90s grunge. What they’ll tell you themselves is that they’re “trashy noise punk,” — an accurate label when taking their frenzied, forceful drumming, unique singing-screeching style and crazy amounts of fuzzy distortion into consideration.
Composed of guitarist-vocalist Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies, METZ hails from Canada’s burgeoning noise scene and have performed alongside the likes of punk supergroup OFF!, hardcore legends Descendents and noise rock duo Death From Above 1979.
With only a handful of 7-inches to their name, though, a lot of the online talk has focused on the question of when they’re releasing a full-length album. Bloggers will be happy to know that their first record is due to be released this coming spring. Decidedly less drone-y than older material, the new songs they performed were yelpier and much faster-paced, somehow impossibly becoming even more violent and aggressive (in a good way) than before.
What’s most surprising about their live performances is the transformation frontman Edkins undergoes once the guitars are tuned and the ear plugs are in place. A mild-mannered, documentary film archivist by day, on stage Edkins goes crazy in a way that would make his punk and hardcore forefathers proud. Darting back and forth maniacally from start to finish, he’s filled with high-energy antics and crazed head shaking so intense that said ear plugs flew out by final chords.
This makes sense, as the “noise” moniker probably doesn’t even do METZ justice.
They put on the kind of intense, punishing and grunge-filled show with decibel levels that’ll have your ears ringing the next morning and happy to reach for the ibuprofen for once, because as a fellow show-goer said by the end of their set, “My head feels like it’s going to burst, and I don’t know if it’s from awesomeness or just because I can’t hear anymore.”