METZ come West(ward Music Festival)

It’s been six years since I first went to see this Toronto band nobody (else) had heard of open for Vancouver band Ladyhawk, and in that time METZ have become SubPop post-punk-on-speed poster boys. World festival stalwarts, and dependable to the very last, singer Alex Edkins, bassist Chris Slorach and Thor-like drummer Hayden Menzies have become the finest purveyors of one hour of pure manic music magic, giving it precisely all of their sweat and muscle, whether it’s in a packed, crumbling club where they’re truly at home, or in front of a Friday night mix-bag crowd as part of the kind of odd, but very welcome Westward Music Festival.

Thankfully, the Rickshaw Theatre is no stranger to punk shows and METZ plugged in, turned up and incited the gang to get bumpin’. Hardcore goodliness fired through from a “Mess of Wires” to “The Swimmer” into the old-skool screamy charms of “Get Off”, then a batch from new album Strange Peace, like “Mr. Plague”, “Drained Lake” and the positively melodic, “Cellophane”, before ending with the none-more-mosh-pit “Headache”, “Rats” and “Acetate.”

Backstage, Edkins sat collapsed on the sofa, and like his bandmates, was a pound lighter. And that is why METZ reigns and while I’ll always be there for them – because they always give every show, precisely all of their sweat and muscle. \m/

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