Metz blow eardrums, minds at Kung Fu Necktie (review, photos)

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Friday night at Kung Fu Necktie, Metz played for just 25 minutes. But not a single person — neither the band members themselves, nor the dozens of fans crowded into the small venue — left unfulfilled. The three piece blew through the room like a storm: drums thundering, guitars snarling, and singer-guitarist Alex Edkins’ shrieking vocals colliding with an onslaught of cacophony—that left everyone’s minds and eardrums blown.

A new signee to Sub Pop Records, whose debut self-titled recorded earned critical accolades, Metz first burst onto the scene 5 years ago in hometown Toronto, where — like fellow Canadians Japandroids — they quickly earned a fanbase with sweat-soaked, high-energy performances. Yet unlike Japandroids — whose infuse a reckless spirit into high-stakes, cathartic rockers — Metz craft dense, deafening, post-punk concoctions that detonate with the fury of 1,000 bombs. As a three-piece, this means each band member must be muscular and exact and, indeed, Friday night the trio raged with the ferocity of a band twice its size.

Metz opener “Headache” was a set highlight, Adkins and bassist Chris Slorach’s vocals emerging from the sludge to form perfect harmonies, while “Dirty Shirt” showcased Hayden Menzies’ relentless drumming. By the time Metz reached its fourth song, “Wasted,” both Adkins and Slorach were dripping in sweat, flailing about the stage like maniacs as Adkins screamed “You’re wasted…you’re already gone”  It turns out that yours truly, standing in the front row, was in the splash zone for this number — “I’m sorry I sweat on you,” apologized Slorach afterwards, before dedicating the next tune to me. No one says punks can’t be nice guys too.

The band closed with an extended version of “Wet Blanket,” off Metz, Adkins practically swallowing the mic with his face as all three members attacked their instruments, raging and tearing across the stage, drunk on energy and good times. “Our encore will be at the bar!” joked Slorach as the lights came up—after a set that intense, I think everyone could have used a drink.

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