Written by Brie Dunphy
ONTARIO NOISE ROCKERS FELT "ODD" RELEASING AN ALBUM AND NOT GETTING TO TOUR
It's been nearly two years since music fans have felt the unity and tension release of live music. This surge of vitality is slowly making its way back into our lives. For some, live music is to emancipate everything that has built up to the very moment the first note is played. A catharsis that is not only sonic but felt emotional as we all witness it together in the same place. As COVID-19 has made some stand on the side of pessimism, we can at least say, here we are. We’ve made it to this very point.
Toronto’s Metz is back in action with ambition and vigour. Though the noise-rock trio recently dropped their first live album, Live at the Opera House, vocalist and guitarist Alex Edkins are excited to be finally getting back on the road.
“We're so used to making a record and touring with it. Going around the world with it,” Edkins says. “To not do that just felt so odd, and slightly depressing. It was tough. It was tough to get that kind of touring ripped away from you. We used the time for other things. It feels great that we're just about to hit the road now.”
The band's latest studio release, Atlas Vending, composed of 10 monstrous tracks is about to have its much deserved time to shine. Having dropped Fall of 2020, Metz and many fans alike have been patiently waiting for the explosion of energy and spark that is, at last, seeing the record played in the flesh and on the stage.
“I think one thing that I love is that we’ve been rehearsing throughout the pandemic and the great thing is that these songs feel as fresh as ever,” he says. “They are still exciting to play, and I think that's another key to know that you hit on something good and that's going to last. It’s that the band doesn't get tired of playing it over and over. So I'm happy to report that that's currently the case of our new record, where we get in there and we jam it and it's like ‘Aw man, I love playing these songs!’”
The record opens with a slow burn. “Pulse” ramps its way up, building and layering with an urgency behind the bass drum greeting us with ominous lyrics. “Framed By The Comet's Tail", the record's eighth track is a particularly notable track for the band.
“I feel it shows a progression of all three of us as musicians and playing together,” Edkins explains. “It's a more complicated arrangement, it's a more difficult song that has pretty severe ups and downs to it and that's not, at least in the past, has not been our forte. It's something that we've explored on this album and have really enjoyed. Kind of stretching out the song length and also the dynamic shift. So that one and ‘A Boat To Drown In’, the last track on the record, kind of for the same reason. It just has this sprawling hypnotic feel that frankly is new territory to us.”
When it all comes down to it, music is a connection. A source of communication. A feeling. Through your ears, eyes, mind, and heart. Starting in a jam space, eventually given away to the entire world. For Metz, that connection is key.
"Not to sound too cheesy but I think there's magic in live rock and rock music,” Edkins concludes. “There's that feeling in the room. That energy that's the kind of thing that you can't really explain is why I think we do what we do. It's that we've been missing for so long so I wouldn't know what to call it. Reciprocal energy or something like that you know? That's what I'm looking forward to."
Metz plays the Biltmore Cabaret on November 24.