When he was a teenager in the early ’90s, Metz bassist Chris Slorach had it all figured out. Whenever he was home alone, he’d pilfer his dad’s credit card, dial the Sub Pop hotline and order the label’s finest new LPs. Nirvana. Afghan Whigs. And hey, the crime paid. Spat out of Parkdale, home of the Toronto hardcore scene they pretty much invented, Slorach and his bandmates Alex Edkins (vocals) and Hayden Menzies (drums) make music far more ferocious than you’d expect from men who look like a bunch of dropout chemistry students. In fact, Menzies is a dropout chemistry student.
Turns out, the trio’s self-titled debut is full of torment. ‘Headache’ makes a deliciously bad impression, yelling about media angst, while ‘Get Off’ careers in with the depraved, junkie squall of heavy metal being twisted out of shape. It’s pure American hardcore, as Metz channel Hüsker Dü and The Jesus Lizard – the pre-grunge guitar gods of Slorach’s Sub Pop heroes. Their pace doesn’t let up, nor does their ire. Best is ‘The Mule’, seething with the disaffected confusion of being “left behind”, before ‘Negative Space’ delivers a final, thundering thwack of testosterone.
Metz deliver the same righteous anger that informed much of their favourite music in the early ’90s. The players might have changed but the problems remain the same: those affected by youth unemployment and conservative government can find salvation in hardcore. Metz are here to offer you redemption.