Post-hardcore, pre-grunge, noise-addled punk rock
On their debut album, Canadian trio METZ has delivered a sound that’s reasonably scarce in 2012: post-hardcore, pre-grunge, noise-addled punk rock. You can hear the influence of the Jesus Lizard in particular everywhere: in Alex Edkins’s strained screams; in Hayden Menzies’s crashing drum assault; in their relentless wave of screeching guitars, in the frenzied pace of “Wet Blanket,” in the sludgy industrial instrumental “Nausea,” and in their grim, dour lyrics. But the sheer volume and force of the music don’t take away from their musicianship – no individual element is covered by fuzz, thanks in part to production work from Graham Walsh (of Holy Fuck) and Alexander Bonenfant (who was behind the boards of the first two Crystal Castles records). The production shows off an intricate variety of textures lurking beneath the noise: On “Get Off,” a chaotic drum barrage toward the end of the track is paired with a wavering high-pitched screech of white noise, bolstering an already-urgent moment. It’s small details like that on METZ that sharpen the band’s anger and attack, elevating them from your average Touch & Go apostles into a seething, unique operation.