|The other night I was in downtown Austin catching Dinosaur Jr.'s stop on their tour to promote their latest album. It was a trip back to the late 80s/early 90s for a good majority of attendees. In my mind Dinosaur made one essential, classic album with You're Living All Over Me and a handful of pretty decent records in their first run (both original trio and other lineups) that influenced a lot of the big, successful "alternative" bands of the early 90s. The crowd decided to make the nostalgia complete with a few mosh pit body slams and one idiot stage dive, which to me was completely out of place with the mighty (anti-hero) guitar heroics of J Mascis. His epic guitar shredding is one of the great sounds in rock, but it's an insular tone - not one that inspires much body movement. Even at their heaviest Dinosaur aint no mosh worthy thrash band. It was a display of physical desperation for a moment in music that doesn't exist anymore - that moment being when the sound of the independent bands of the 80s hit the mainstream.
The reason I bring this non-METZ related stuff up in what is supposed to me a review of METZ's self-titled debut album for Sub Pop, is the fact that METZ is making the kind of loud trash fuzz rock that so many in the Dinosaur crowd craved. Let the revival commence! "Grunge" is back and METZ are bringing it with them on their quick ten song blast of a record.
Basically, this is the sound of a band who have taken a lot from Mudhoney and Bleach-era Nirvana. They probably have a ton of influences outside of these two fairly obvious Seattle flannel merchants, but I don't care about that right now. For all I know METZ might hate the first "grunge" wave and deny the influence, but I hear it all over this album. The songs all rock with enough buzzsaw grind to rip your newest jeans to shreds and make your hair drip with grease. You will smell bad after listening to METZ.
The band doesn't waste time setting up any arty notions, they get right down to the pummeling on the first tune "Headache" and don't let up for thirty minutes. METZ are at their best towards the end of the album with "Wet Blanket" and "Wasted," two of the longer than three minute hiss mongers. Feedback fried amps and sludge bass are everywhere underneath the "No-Wave" shrieking and Steve Albini admiring spike guitar leads.
METZ have a familiar sound and maybe we've all been here before, but that doesn't diminish the power of this trio. This is a fast & dirty listen and one that reminds those of us who missed the "grunge" pre-President Clinton, that there is plenty of grime left for the stereo (or earbuds) today.