METZEVOL @ Phase One 30/11/19
In the downstairs dressing room of Phase One, METZ frontman Alex Edkins looks like he’s just fallen into a lake fully-clothed. The beloved Sub Pop noisemakers have just left the stage after an immersive and compelling set that marks their live return to the UK.
You have to appreciate any band that put every inch of themselves into their shows, but this Toronto three-piece are once again relentless and all-encompassing. Then again, they’ve never been ones to do things by the half-measure. Distorted guitars and screaming vocals are nothing unusual on the noise scene, but you feel there has always been something more with METZ; the sights and sounds they produce fall nothing short of poetry.
The abrasive ferocity this band create is so physically and emotionally involved that you can understand why their modest looking frontman is left taking five to himself in the venue basement after the show – albeit surrounded by the classic scenery of any half-decent band rider; fancy crisps, hummus and a sad-looking bag of salad. This weird juxtaposition from seconds prior ultimately only offers an extra sense of respect for the physicality of the show and just how much energy goes into the performance.
Tonight, the show embraces many of the gritty and intense sounds that have spanned their four albums to date. We hear airings of well-loved fan favourites like Acetate, Mess Of Wires and Spit You Out. The music inflicts a physical demand of those on stage and in the audience – they don’t so much play their instruments but wrench sounds from them. It’s a bruising show on the ears, heart and soul in more ways than one. Crowd-surfers spill over the heads throughout and it’s just about everything you could wish for on a Saturday night.
While the band’s latest record, Automat, comprised of previously unheard non-album singles, B-sides, and rarities dating back to 2009 – hopefully the next time they return to our shores it’s packing a brand new full-length. Most importantly though, it’s a triumph and a testament that this band are here playing this show tonight. They haven’t once compromised their vision and this factor has paid dividends yet again on Merseyside this evening.