As impressive as METZ's wall-of-distortion soundscapes can be live, the amount of sweat the band manage to generate on stage almost matches it. Guitarist-vocalist Alex Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies began their first night headlining set at the Halifax Pop Explosion in reasonably presentable attire and ended it absolutely drenched, with Edkins sending beads of sweat soaring with every fevered head shake.
What METZ do best is build and release, using riffs and tones to create a bedding over which to unleash the full velocity and magnitude of their sound. When the band is at their fastest — like on "Get Off," from their 2012 self-titled debut — it's like being on a rollercoaster that's almost all drops. The sameness of the band's material, admittedly, can wear thin — this is a band that trade in various shades of loud and atonal — but there's variety to be had in the noise. The swagger in a song like "Spit You Out," for example, added a great deal to the set.
"Cellophane," from the band's recent Strange Peace record, was a highlight, jittery and raw, as was an absolutely ripping take on "Acetate." Edkins dedicated "Get Off" to Gord Downie, and while the music itself couldn't be further from Downie's own output, in terms of genre or sound, one suspects that the stage-bounding energy of the performance would have been most appreciated.