A fervent, joyous reminder of the power of hyper-distorted, anti-social noise.
Jimmy Martin 2012-10-05
It takes a certain kind of chutzpah to make an anti-social racket with style, Anno Domini Twenty Twelve.
No matter how many times their doom is prophesised, planks of wood plugged into monolithic speaker cabinets are in no more danger of slipping out of vogue than at any stage in the last 50 years. Yet the lure of both slavishly retro posturing and heavy-handed irony are such that the pursuit of incendiary three-chord simplicity can oft resemble a veritable minefield in the here and now.
Luckily, Toronto troupe Metz have no such worries. Blood simple and bloody minded, their half-hour self-titled debut is a welcome lurch straight for the jugular.
The ‘no-messing’ approach of Metz extends in all angles, from their power-trio line-up to their two-minute-average song lengths. Yet more importantly, whilst a plethora of bands on their kudos-laden label Sub Pop seem more concerned with maintaining a certain louche, check-shirted insouciance, the venomous attack of this debut harks back to a time when such barbs of screamed fury were less the stuff of fashion-mag spreads than a venomous weapon for the dispossessed.
There may be echoes of Sub Pop’s best-selling record, Nirvana’s deathless Bleach here, but if anything Metz lack the pop polish of this platter, rather arriving at a raw, head-splitting attack more akin to American 80s scene warriors like Killdozer and Big Black. They recall the cast of characters who graced the sub-legendary Amphetamine Reptile label, or Nottingham’s grotesquely unfashionable 90s riff-monsters Fudge Tunnel.
Yet such is the urgency of aggro-blasts like Knife in the Water and Negative Space, that Metz is no retro throwback, no museum piece. They’re nothing but a fervent, joyous reminder of the power of hyper-distorted, anti-social noise when delivered in economical bursts of adrenaline and inspiration.
Just as importantly, Metz take three-chord rock, in all its misfit, dilapidated glory, back to the mildew-ridden basement where ultimately it belongs.