Posted on 11/12/2012
While prematurely looking at the year in review a while back I realized that almost none of my favorite albums of 2012 so far were what one might call "guitar" albums. I've enjoyed plenty of releases that kick some serious tail, sure, but haven't come across many that effectively smack me upside the head with a snarling fuzz pedal and a walloping drumset. I need a fix once in a while to bring me back to the basics, you see, and lately I'd been revisiting the likes of Siamese Dream and In Utero a little bit more frequently than usual due to a lack of newer selections. Then this arrived.
"Headache" greeted me with exactly what I'd been craving. A mammoth drum tone starts the album off right, and a customary feedback squeal introduces the proverbial wall of guitar distortion that practically dwarfs the drums. The rest of the album follows through wonderfully with the age-old and truly rock 'n roll formula that is simultaneously minimalist and maximalist - guitar, bass, drums and vocals, all as loud as possible; a record that sounds like it's about to burst from being overloaded despite ultimately having so few elements. "Knife in the Water" and "Wasted" exemplify this as well as anybody in recent memory. I also must mention how refreshing it was to see that this album was released on Sub Pop, considering its sound and that its back cover bore a striking resemblance to a particular image from a much earlier Sub Pop release, as the band have acknowledged
I had the pleasure of seeing METZ three times in a two week period this October, first on back-to-back evenings during CMJ in New York City and then at our very own 7th St. Entry about a week later. Let me stress that they're one of the few new bands in 2012 that is actually worth seeing that frequently. Frontman Alex Edkins is as enraptured by the glorious cacophony created by his Jazzmaster through a maxed out ProCo Turbo RAT (trust me, I peeked) as anyone from the fuzz pedal glory days. The rhythm section of bassist Chris Slorach and herculean drummer Hayden Menzies create a thunderous momentum that sent the crowd over the edge on a few of the aforementioned occasions. For the Entry gig I couldn't help but notice that Edkins and myself were wearing the exact same Mudhoney shirt
. It was then that I thought, "Could I possibly need any more reasons to love these guys?"
Written by Tom Steffes.
Tags: METZ Weekly Release Spotlight