- Metz look like fairly well-dressed and mild-mannered trio (their main-man wears glasses and looks a bit like a young Bill Gates: sorry to bust up your rockstar pretensions, I just call 'em like I see 'em, guy), but clearly being beaten up and down the school yard with their own pocket protectors caused these three to have some kind of musical nerd-'splosion, because on their self-titled, Sub Pop debut, they're just smashing the joint. Its thirty minutes of relentless pounding just doesn't let up for a second.
That in itself is usually a plus, but musically what they do is interesting beyond the mere fact that it tears your ears off and waves them in front of your face. The basis of their sound is post-punk: the rhythms are tight and angular, the pace is always bracing and I'm guessing that's where the urge to dress so nattily comes from too. That contrasts nicely with the meat of their sound: damn it's sludgy and you'd call it stoner but going at the speed they do – to return to the schoolyard analogy – it's like nerdy little Metz is running around with two medicine balls stuffed in his jocks... that works.
The Sub Pop signing is very apropos, because this sound is forcefully reminiscent of the most energetically unhinged bands of the grunge period, although there's few outside of the likes of the relatively recent Pissed Jeans or Wolf Eyes that unleash such a torrent of guitar grinding. Mudhoney, L7 and Nirvana, as much as I love you all, you were never quite as heavy as this. This is more the territory of folks like Melvins and The Jesus Lizard. The production is really rather nice, too, for such a solid wall of sound, the various textures of the guitar, bass and drums are distinct and nuanced.
It's a pleasure to listen to, which is a good thing, because in the course of this thirty minutes pounding Metz don't choose to change things up much. Hell, it's only thirty minutes after all, and there's hardly much out there right now that sounds like this, especially stuff that's getting released internationally. Metz bring the noise and they're very welcome.
- Chris Cobcroft.