Converse Rubber Tracks Live featuring METZ

There was a time, in recent history, when you needed to have at least twelve members to even be considered a band in Canada. It was nearly impossible to tour if you didn’t have access to some kind of personnel carrier, and making a record involved several years of tambourine overdubs. You know there were kids out there who just wanted to get in a van and play loud as hell through an Ampeg stack or a four-piece drum kit, but how could you call it a band if you didn’t even know a French horn player? By 2008, band membership had reached a critical mass. You’d go to a show and you might be the only person in the room who wasn’t playing an instrument. Hard times.

Thankfully, there are always a few naturally resourceful people who refuse to be intimidated or excluded from making their own wild racket in public. Alex Edkins, Hayden Menzies and Chris Slorach have been around long enough to know that if you can’t fit it in the van, it’s not worth bringing. METZ play like one brutally heavy instrument with three heads, slashing heavy-gauge strings, bending guitar and bass necks in weird unison, along with what is probably the loudest drumming you’ve ever heard. It’s a return to everything that’s good about loud, ecstatic live music; a frantic nod to Nation of Ulysses, Shellac, The Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, and Public Image Ltd. at their most vicious, while still carving out some heavy new business. They play the instruments, the amps, and the room.

Over the last three-and-a-half years, METZ have slayed in basements, skate shops, clubs, and festivals, sharing stages with Mission of Burma, Death from Above 1979, Archers of Loaf, Mudhoney, Oneida, Constantines, and NoMeansNo. I’ve seen a hundred jaws drop within the first four measures of their set. I once saw Alexander Hacke from Einstuerzende Neubauten approach Chris and rave about his bass tone.

It’s a formidable task to try and capture such a powerful live band on record. Luckily, Graham Walsh (Holy Fuck) and Alexandre Bonenfant were more than up for it. Isolating the band in an old barn for a week with a portable recording rig, Walsh and Bonenfant were not only successful in documenting the unrelenting live force of the band, but they also managed to add some new and staggering sonic textures to the recording. Waves of organic feedback and fuzzed-out drones build the classic tension that eventually drops into each track’s relentless, dissonant pulse. And somehow, the raddest thing about it all is the songwriting. It’s not just riffs. It’s something that some heavy bands don’t get, but METZ do really well—and they do it collectively. It’s a hell of an experience, listening to this thing.

With this, their debut album, METZ articulate with deafening clarity, what we’ve all known for some time: The world of good music needs a new power trio, and this is it.

The Men

With their fourth full-length album to be released in as many years, The Men proudly present the sweeping New Moon, the most intensely personal and immersive installment yet. New Moon is the follow up to their well-received 2012 release, Open Your Heart. The record’s first single, “Electric”, will be released on 7-inch vinyl on January 22.

The Men quit the city in early 2012 to head for Big Indian, NY - transforming a remote Catskills locale into a full-fledged stray dog studio home. Taking complete advantage of dry eyes and clear mountain mornings, the band thoroughly surrendered their writing process and themselves to the recording environment.

Entering with only the most skeletal sketches, the house was selected as an incubator for its technical limitations, 32-hour orbit and predisposal to celestial intervention. Familiar faces remain, the core of guitarists Nick Chiericozzi and Mark Perro, with drummer Rich Samis all returning from 2012’s much-acclaimed Open Your Heart. Friend and producer Ben Greenberg (Pygmy Shrews, Hubble, Zs) officially joins the ranks as bassist on paper, and full-bore compositional partner in practice. In tandem, wayward brother Kevin Faulkner occupies his most substantial sphere to date, dreaming aloud on lap steel.

The Men’s oft-cited commitment to their “no-one-is-frontman” maxim surely insists itself all the more emphatically here. -- so much so that it practically creates a new band in the process. This smiling observance induces a fresh fluidity amongst their roles and instrumentation, incorporating at various junctures piano, mandolin, harmonica, four-part vocal harmonies and even no-input harsh noise. New Moon is simultaneously an expansion of palette and a contraction of focus. It is a love letter devoted in bowed humility to the grand continuum, exposing the hoax of the great divide. Allegiances to the glowing patinas of Detroit and San Francisco, New York and Nashville all abound, but ‘nostalgia’ is not her name. The band’s clear ethos is to revisit but never retread.

Desert Sharks

Stephanie Gunther - vocals, bass
Stefania Rovera - guitar
Rebecca Rose - drums
Sunny Veniero - guitar

Free show, must RSVP via Ticketmaster.

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The Sinclair is general admission standing room only.
Tickets available at TICKETMASTER.COM, or by phone at 800-745-3000. No service charge on tickets purchased in person at The Sinclair Box office Tuesdays-Saturdays 12-7PM. Please note: box offices are cash only.

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Converse Rubber Tracks Live featuring METZ with The Men, Desert Sharks

Thursday, July 25 · Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM at The Sinclair

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