Bummed out that you missed Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field this summer? Or that you simply missed Pearl Jam during their hey-day in the ‘90s? Yeah, me too. However, something is happening in grunge that people today didn’t expect. You’ll have to sift through a lot of pop-rock acts find the hidden gems of the post-1990 indie rock era that we find ourselves in now, but when you do, you’ll come across groups like Japandroids, Divine Fits and one of Friday night’s headliners, METZ, who are also one of the festival’s more highly anticipated shows.
The reality that this three-piece is bringing back grunge in a big way is the least surprising part of their story. The most surprising? Probably the fact that they’re from Canada, which is roughly 2,500 miles away from the harboring music gem of Seattle where grunge was conceived. But make no mistake about it, METZ are the real deal who have high-voltage, energy packed sets and a lightning-speed debut album (that doesn’t let you catch your breath) to prove it.
Hailing from Toronto, METZ is made up of guitarist Alex Edkin, drummer Hayden Menzies and bassist Chris Slorach. Their current wave of success that they find themselves riding did not come overnight. After playing their first show in 2007, the past five years were spent on the road harnessing the art that is a live performance all while hoping to translate that same energy come studio time.
And boy did it. With the help from producers Owen Pallett, Crystal Castles engineer Alex Bonenfant, and Graham Walsh of Holy Fuck, METZ was able to put together a full-length album in 2012 with enough muscle and angst to call itself one of grunge rock’s most impressive albums in the last 10 years. A not so surprising fact about the album is that it runs a total of 29 minutes. You would think that would give you about half of a records worth of music, but not the way METZ deliver their chaotic sound. It’s all fast tempo and all of it comes straight from the stage. The drive and the power is never more present on METZ, from the screeching guitar whines to the tribal but rhythmic drums.
They have spent the last few year splaying in dumpy skate shops to headlining stadium shows in France. After their stop in Champaign-Urbana, their headed out overseas to the UK and a bunch of other European cities, so if you’re looking to catch something fun, passionate and really, really loud, go check out METZ on Friday night. You won’t regret the “Headache” in the morning (had to).