Music Reviews

METZ Live at the Opera House

(Sub Pop) Rating - 8/10

Back in the salad days of 2019, Belle & Sebastian played the entirety of If You’re Feeling Sinister live at that year’s Pitchfork Festival. The twee-pop classic sounded sublime on a day that was blisteringly hot. But the heat was broken mid-day by a summer storm that occasioned cool breezes, hand holding couples, and trees filled with songbirds. The music fit the moment. And while METZ’s Live at the Opera House bears no resemblance to any of that, it merits its own place in time. In lieu of touring in support of last year’s excellent Atlas Vending album, the Canadian noise trio plays that album in full here, sans audience. The album’s expansive soundscapes rumble and echo off the empty chamber walls of one of Toronto’s venerable and still shuttered live music venues. Alex Edkins’ vocals come off appropriately desperate, caged, and pissed, with his bandmates right there with him. And with no fans to cheer or call out for encores, the band’s take on older song Negative Space is adapted to a Cramps-worthy surf-rock romp of buzzy guitars and caterwauling vocals. A live set from this band at peak level performance was bound to come. That the nearly hour long set documents our darkest days is an added bonus for future sentimentalists.