January 14, 2016

METZ and Bully played Bowery Ballroom

Spazz rockers Metz are currently on a headlining tour that brought them to New York on a frigid January evening with support from Nashville's Bully.

It was a very 90s-esque evening with Bully pulling some serious grunge-pop vibes and Metz breaking out their thrashing apocalyptic punk (both bands also happened to release two of my favorite records of 2015). For an opening act, Bully had a lot of fans in attendance. Their fuzzed-out pop gems recalling Hole or the Breeders, they would've been a perfect fit for hey-day Lollapalooza. Lead singer Alicia Bognanno has already garnered much attention for Cobain-like growl, but the rest of the band does a fine job keeping their buzzing melodies in check. As their set progressed, their energy ascended showcasing much sophistication for such a young group. Bognanno's vocals shifting from her gravely howl to sugary sweetness at the drop of a hat while distorted swells lifted spirits. Delighted to be there, Bognanno cheerfully reminded the crowd to "stay safe" while moshing and while the audience cheered after every track, it was the closing combo of "Trying" and "I Remember" that was the true highlight from the band. Their unabashed charm playing out in perfect form and launching the crowd into true bliss.

Bully set a strong tone for the evening, but Metz had no difficulty living up to Alicia's claim of "the best live band I've ever seen". Somehow, this band seems to just get better and better. It was utter chaos and total control. The band's exuberant energy was in complete overload as they dashed around onstage hardly pausing for a moment to shout out their extreme lyrics. Even as a trio, their sound is massive and punishing. Guitars bleed and their rhythms pound like thunder. More so than just being a punk band, Metz just sound plain old tough. These are serious dudes that can bash their way through a song with pure force as vocals wail and guitars rage as if ricocheting off sheet metal with every riff. Even in the crowd, it's a physical experience as their fiery sonic fury crashes all around the room. They did a fantastic job of splitting the show between both of their records and new single "Eraser" was a soul crushing monster. It's brutal music, but never daunting. They do an amazing job at holding the tension to the perfect degree, never creeping over the edge or over-powering their listeners. Metz received some fairly uncalled for backlash last year for the sophomore record II as critics hailed it as a retread of their great debut. However, when you hit an absolute home run on your first album, swinging for the fences on round two is not a problem. Especially when you can crush it out of the park.

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