Neither of the statements in the headline is true, not really. But both have the air of truth about them, which, in rock ’n’ roll, is often enough.
It’s time to talk about METZ. This Toronto-based noise-rock band has spent the past five years playing semi-legendary 30-minute ear-breaking shows around their hometown, building up a considerable fanbase but, apparently, refusing to record anything substantial. They’ve teased everyone who asked them (fans, press) with hints (lies, really) that their debut record was just around the corner, coming soon, for years. A couple 7”-ers were released, but nothing that adequately sated a growing audience that was now fairly loudly proclaiming METZ to be Toronto’s best band you’ve never heard. Perhaps themselves aware of just how good they were and of the potential their record might have to blow up, the trio held back and let the anticipation grow while they woodshedded. But, now, all of that waiting is over. Late last week we finally got to hear their debut (released on stalwart indie label Sub Pop, no less). And there was much rejoicing.
The result is what is already being hailed (by the astute Pitchfork critic Stuart Berman, among others) as one of the albums of the year. I had a chance to catch their record release show last Friday at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, a revelatory, quite extraordinary concert that fairly ravaged the sold out room. I stayed far from the tumult at the front—holding up the bar at the back with some industry heavyweights and fellow critics, all of us too timid or too old (it was my 35th birthday, let’s face it) to move up front for the melee—but I did manage an amazing view as all those bodies were tossed around, fists were pumped, and that hot, white noise washed over it all. A hell of a thing, a hell of a band.