In a hurricane of hot, sweaty, and super-loud intensity – Toronto’s power punk trio supreme METZ blew out one of two NYC area shows at Music Hall of Williamsburg finally gusting into the Big Apple in support of their second full album II for the first time since its release early last year. I have heard lots of comparisons of them with early 90’s Nirvana since they raged to post-punk supremacy back in 2012, although I do feel that comparison is largely due to them being on that classic Seattle-based Sub Pop label. Sure, they are raw and loud, disillusioned and dark, pessimistic and cynical, but so are a lot of rock bands these days. I personally don’t see METZ as so much a “grunge” second coming as much as a pure, unadulterated, sloppy, and thunderously fun band, which is exactly what they live up to on stage.
Opening the show was Brooklyn’s BIG UPS, who definitely stir up an energetic performance of their own, with frontman Joe Galarraga whipping about the stage like a whirlwind of classic 80’s skater-punk vibe mixed with a drenching downpour of commanding 90’s rock tantrums. Their new album Before A Million Universes is set to be released in March, and from all signs shown at this show, their sound has definitely grown an additional set of balls, which makes for an impressively fertile set.
Then there was the Nashville band called Bully, who broke out of the clouds like a summer coming-of-age sun beam, even if the sweetness and warmth is only a thinly veiled rainbow, at the end of which you find some heavy and very dark and gloomy clouds. This band has also been compared to Nirvana in the past, and with frontwoman and guitarist Alicia Bognanno’s throaty Cobain screaming style, disheveled look, and disdaining lyrics, I can’t rightfully blame those judgments. Still, the electrified, thundering, and fuzz-hazy, guitar-driven rock they produce is still music you can party wildly to. Even though their first album Feels Like was only dropped last year, they weigh on you like a far more mature outfit, and really did a splendid job of getting the crowd twisted and warped, in the best of ways.
Still, the crowd didn’t really loose their ever-loving minds until the headliner METZ came on-stage, set to the scene of an almost entirely ominous pitch-dark stage. The raging cyclone of a mosh pit formed pretty much the very first note of their opening song of “Headache” from their debut self-titled LP of 2012, enveloping almost the entirety of packed floor almost before I could blink. Immediately salient was the deafening roar they produce on stage is like a tidal wave that washes over and through you, cleansing you of all your sin through pure sweat-drenched intensity, and tearing you down in a vortex of two-to-three-minute sonic onslaughts that feel perfect for some aggressively floor twisting and whirling. None of the band look like archetypal rockers, wearing rather simple clothes that were soon sopping in sweat, sporting fogged up glasses, and donning everyday hairdos, but all of that lack of cheeky rock persona is perhaps what makes them feel so much more authentic than any of the other thousands of vaguely 90’s-sounding post-punk rockers that come out every year now. Still, the real proving ground for bands in this genre is on stage, and the METZ brought it with all the furry and energy rock can provide, and you just have to love them for that, after you heal from the bruises, that is.
Article: Dean Keim