Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters, is “The Mule” by METZ from the 2012 self-titled album on Sub Pop.
In an interview from earlier this year, METZ singer/guitarist Alex Edkins told Pitchfork that starting on the first note of one of the Ottowa punks’ shows, a fan repeatedly rammed his head into one of the band’s monitors until he began bleeding. This fan may have taken it a little far, but his reaction was mostly in line with the general reaction that METZ’ potent mix of ’90s post-hardcore and noise rock should incite. Growing up going to shows featuring The Jesus Lizard, Jawbreaker, Fugazi, and Drive Like Jehu, the trio honed their skills across the past five years, releasing a handful of singles before issuing their debut earlier this year. Like the other 27 minutes on their debut album, “The Mule” consists of two-and-a-half minutes of vicious, no-holds-barred assault on the listener’s ears. The band’s attack rallies around drummer Hayden Menzies’ ferocious pounding before Edkins and Slorach launch into their own low-end fury. As the band continues its noisy bombardment, the significance of the song’s most repeated lyric (“I haven’t got a clue”) begins to make sense - “The Mule” is a quick hit of brutally disorienting punk rock executed with a targeted roughness that should leave listeners just short of smashing their heads into a nearby wall.
Starting with two months of dates in Europe, METZ will continue touring into 2013. They don’t have any North American dates announced at the moment though, so when those are released, you’ll be able to read about them at their website and Facebook. For now, watch a video of their performance at KEXP from last month: