The three members of the band Metz standing, each is wearing a button down shirt in a different fall hued color, grayish blue sky behind them
Metz Credit: Norman Wong

The best thing about Metz might also be the worst thing about Metz. The Toronto-based trio have been cranking out high-volume noise rock for more than ten years. Their music is solid, reliable, and interesting—and like Nirvana before them, they begin with a subversive sound, then add enough melody and take away enough grime to make it appealing to a whole lot of people. But the downside of Metz getting this good at making noise rock for the everyman is that there’s very little variation between their releases. Hell, they’ve honed their approach to such tight tolerances that there’s often little variation between their songs.

When you put on a Metz record, you know what you’re going to get. Their fourth full-length, Atlas Vending (released by Sub Pop in October 2020), isn’t much different from its predecessors: it’s got layers of distorted guitar and bass, angular rhythms, and the gloriously bombastic drumming of Hayden Menzies (the longtime star of Metz’s show). But a few elements make it stand out against the rest of the band’s catalog: singer-guitarist Alex Edkins occasionally steps back from his throaty yell to deliver a Britpoppy vocal hook, and the production by Uniform’s Ben Greenberg makes it their clearest, best-sounding album yet. Atlas Vending is pure Metz—it’s not full of surprises, but it unquestionably rocks, and it reminds us how valuable reliability is. Touring for this record was pushed back for obvious reasons, and a couple days after Metz finally did hit the road last month, someone broke into their trailer and stole almost all their gear. You should absolutely go to this show, and not just because Metz are an excellent live band—if you buy a bunch of merch, it’ll help them get back on track after such a devastating blow.

Metz, Preoccupations, Facs, Wed 12/15, 9 PM, Metro, 3730 N. Clark, $26, $22 in advance, 18+