Friday, October 12, 2012

Album Review: Metz's Self-Titled Debut

Metz are a heavy trio of dudes from Toronto that play a noisy garage rock most like The Jesus Lizard but a bit heavier. It's not the music that is necessarily heavier, but the production is covered with a patina of grime and fuzz that smells like teen spirit - you'll understand more about that "joke", and not roll your eyes so much, when you understand the band's simple song structure. It is most reminiscent of a less dynamic and experimental Heavier Than Air Flying Machines, who released last year's excellent Siam, one of my favorite records of that year. The difference in vocals is stark between the two bands yet the musicality of the band's is very similar.

Metz starts off with the excellent romping "Headache", which sounds like when Daughters got a little poppy with its rhythm section on their last album, Daughters. There is a slight noisy interlude, then the "ohs" that started the song close it out. There aren't a lot of "wow, that was completely original" moments, but the song certainly doesn't suck, and it is one of the highlights of the album; and there are only a few of them, as the record is less than thirty minutes long.

Metz continue to implement some traditional song structure throughout the album, only veering off the path on tracks like "Wet Blanket" and the previously released "Negative Space" - the latter song is actually what originally piqued my interest in the band when they were featured on one of Spin's list of artists to watch. These tracks are memorable and add another dimension to Metz's sound, but every other song on the album sort of has a similar feel. I didn't walk away from multiple listens being able to discern which song featured parts I liked - it all sort of felt like one long song or setlist, which isn't such a bad thing when your formula works. And I feel like, in Metz's case, the sound does work, but only for a short time.

Sure, this is a fun release that could perfectly score a hooligan's last stand with cops circling the supermarket he has held hostage, albeit for less than a half-hour, but there isn't a lot of new featured on this album. I've heard this kind of music before, either much harder or a little softer, so it doesn't feel like something I will be suggesting to any friends - well, at least not to anyone who enjoys poppy music. I was able to complete this review in under ten minutes, which is funny because that's how much of Metz's music will stick with me. So if this album interests you, go over to Heavier Than Air Flying Machines's website and download Siam; it's a much more entertaining listen.

Final Grade: C

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