METZ, Protomartyr at Stereo, 5/11/15

A double bill in the strong Subpop tradition; METZ are said level and Protomartyr on sister label Hardly Art.

First up, Protomartyr, having disappointed me by not showing up in August last year I am very happy to finally see them.

First stumbling across live footage of them in 2011 they appealed by sounding like a mix between The Fall and The National.

More like The National’s less successful cousins, their bitterness is given that horrible term “post punk” but their 7” ‘Blues Festival’ is one of my tracks of the year and it is a ode to opening up five band bills and headlining a shitty local festival.

Playing Pitchfork Festival this year the band debuted a bunch of new material from the excellently titled The Agent Intellect, and that along with material from their last LP, Under Colour of Official Right, make up most of the set; stand out tracks such as ‘Devil in His Youth’, ‘Scum Rise’ and closer ‘Why Does it Shake’ are stand outs in a sublime set.

I even overhear one crowd member, who having no prior knowledge of the band, claim it was a spiritual experience as he went out for air.

From the spiritual to the physical METZ, who after five years released their debut album on Subpop in 2012, and boy did they tour the hell out of it!

I’m sure they played every venue on Sauchiehall Street in four different European tours in a three-month spell.

They are back this time campaigning METZ II; Bleach era basslines, right down to the Gibson RD bass that Chris Slorach batters out.

This massive bass sound is the real hook device of METZ, Hayden Menzies provides the almost metal tom thumping and lead vocalist/guitarist Alex Edkins sprinkles shattered glass over the top of it all.

Within the first song, ‘Headache’, a beer can is sprayed over the front of the crowd and as fired back hitting the lighting engineer at the sound desk.

It becomes even more insane by the time the ‘Swimmer’ and ‘Spit You Out’ are blasted.

The feedback drone means not a moment of silence; I’m sure the guy punching the wall at the front or the kid covered in blood would want a moment to gather their thoughts.

Sustaining that level of clipped distortion and anger throughout the set is what would impress anyone who watches them.

Tight from years of playing, brief micro seconds of silence are followed by Menzies fills that crash everything back into the poor burning PA of Stereo.

Words: Paul Choi

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