Metz

support Crows
author PP date 20/10/15 venue Loppen, Copenhagen, DEN

It's a fairly good turnout for a Tuesday night at Loppen. We're also here earlier than usual; the doors have opened at 20:30 and UK support band Crows are scheduled to hit the stage one hour later. It's a refreshing change for a venue notorious for having headliners start their set often past midnight even on a weekday night, and one that ensures half the crowd doesn't walk out halfway through the set as usual. Here's to hoping this becoming a steadfast tradition at Loppen. Tonight, we're visited by the Pitchfork-hyped, neurotic post-punk group Metz, whose energetic live performance first reached our consciousness already two years ago at Roskilde Festival, but more recently via word-of-mouth on social media as the hype kept growing around their sophomore album "II".

Crows

Crows

A quick look at the scene before Crows enter stage gives a good hint of what's going on musically for this band. Their guitarist and bassist are both armed with a wealth of effects units, and the vocalist's microphones are also hooked up to a pair of pedals. That's right: he has two microphones. One for regular howling, and one for distorted echoing, the purpose of which never really dawns upon me as we traverse through their set. We're firmly in the world of post-punk, albeit with an experimental and groovy twist, where the soundscape is best described as a noisy and faded expression where you can't hear shit during the nonsensical echoing lines delivered by the distorted microphone. This is on purpose, as you might imagine, and the pretentiousness vibe with the music is high on this one. With little regard to melody or song structure and way too much focus on senseless noise, Crows do their best to resemble an equally horrific expression by local Pitchfork darlings Lower. The few good (grungy) riffs that the band displays, and the spastic, relentless shaking by their vocalist while he performs, do little to save the band from falling to the lower ratings on our scale. The songs are simply awful.

4

Metz

Metz

The closer we approach to 22:30, the more people pack closer to the front of the stage, and an eerie atmosphere of high expectations for what's to come begins forming. Not surprising, considering word has spread about the raucous performances Metz has been throwing around US and Europe alike in the past couple of years especially in club environments. Tonight, that rumour spectacle manifests itself immediately from the first song. The band engage in crazed energy that's best described as frenetic. Grungy primal screams sound even rawer than they do on record, the guitarist and bassist are all over the place on the scene during instrumental passages, shaking as if they're having a seizure in the process.

The crowd follows suit and temperature in the venue starts rising as a surprisingly violent mosh pit breaks out. It's reflective of the atmosphere both on and off the stage: chaotic off-tune instrumentation and rebellious punk spirit suggests Metz are doing punk revival right. It's both explosive and uncompromising, with "I.O.U" leading the charge transforming the venue into the kind of unpredictable energy what I imagine late 80s / early 90s Seattle basements to have been like during the rise of the grunge scene. The whole debacle is distortion-laden and brutally raw, with vocalist Alex Edkins' screams being so throaty and razor-sharp we all begin to wonder how his throat can possibly manage that kind of torment night in night out.

Metz

What's most interesting to note about tonight, however, is how well Metz have been able to capture this chaos on record. Listening to either self-titled or "II" is near-identical to watching the band play live: there are no tricks or additional bullshit, just raw musicianship delivered passionately and with a mission. The best songs - like "Nervous System", "Get Off", and "Swimmers" - stand out as highlights, but the ridiculous energy level throughout the show (the songs are played almost straight) and the constant audience movement create a dynamic that's difficult to deny. With a half-and-half split between the two albums, this is was a display of power and a clear-cut demonstration that a) Metz do not deserve to be grouped together with the rest of the post-punk hipsters and b) that they are the best band in that group by a mile.

8

Setlist:

  • 1. Headache
  • 2. Eraser
  • 3. The Swimmer
  • 4. Spit You Out
  • 5. Knife In The Water
  • 6. Get Off
  • 7. Acetate
  • 8. I.O.U.
  • 9. Wait In Line
  • 10. Kicking A Can Of Worms
  • 11. Nervous System
  • 12. Wasted
  • 13. Wet Blanket

Photos by: Peter Troest

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