Canadian noise rock trio Metz returned to Austin on Wednesday, October 3 and proceeded to eviscerate a crowd of cochlear sadists. The audience beholden to the Canuck rockers was an eclectic mix of bespectacled hipsters and juvenile anarchists. Barracuda proved to be a perfect venue for the amp-rattling bands that made up the bill, and the energy quickly gained momentum before Metz issued their edict of audial desolation.
Xetas is a local punk trio who seems to be pioneering a therapy based in abusing their instruments, which is deftly interspersed with ribbons of melodic brilliance that infiltrates and lobotomizes listeners. A live show by the Xetas is a baptism of youthful destruction, wherein vocalists David Petro and Kana Harris coalesce on a beatific chorus of angst. All the harbingers of success are deeply seeded in their attitude and performance, so keep an eye on this diabolical triumvirate.
Another local act, Easy Prey, would bring hardcore into the excitable crowd with chainsaw-like riffs and spirited vocals by their lead singer, Chris. The quartet brought a holocaust of testosterone-charged noise that filled every inch of the room. In true hardcore fashion, the singer mixed it up in the crowd and manually revved up the audience before Metz would grace the stage.
Part of a select group of bands that are turning the Canadian stereotype of reserved politeness on its head, Metz, along with Fucked Up, Japandroids and a few others, have brought hellfire down from the ice wall, that is our northern neighbor. Having released their brilliant third album, Strange Peace, just over a year ago, the trio is back out on the road causing wanton destruction.
The group came out with reckless disregard for pacing with “Mess Of Wires”, “The Swimmer” and “Get Off”. Vocalist Alex Edkins was pouring sweat within the first few songs as he appeared to be mid-exorcism while getting lost in his own mess of art. The highlight of the set was the pulsating “Mr. Plague” off of Strange Peace, which infected the crowd like an ergot-laced bacterium. Some in the crowd tried to remain stoic and reserved but eventually the pestilence of Metz-driven hysteria overtook them.
“Cellophane” was another highlight that allowed the crowd to sing along but the set would end with “Raw Materials” and “Acetate”, which chummed the waters with anarchy before sending listeners back into the real world. “Thanks for expending energy with us tonight!” Edkins announced, as if he had just led a workout class at your local YMCA. There is a lot to sink your teeth into as far as Metz’s music alone, but the real elixir is the live performance that is as cathartic as it is necessary.
Photo credit: Nick Sayers