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Live: METZ at Mercury Lounge

Heavily-hyped Toronto punk trio METZ packed the Mercury Lounge Monday night, the first of two consecutive New York dates. METZ can probably best be described as "muscular," both for the way their combined playing flexes as one and for the actual muscles required to play it.

Drummer Hayden Menzies and bassist Chris Slorach are both improbably beefy; singer/guitarist Alex Edkins probably is, too, behind his glasses and button-down. "We get through a number and we're ready to pass out," announced Edkins, who spent the whole set screaming at the top of his lungs, seemingly destroying his voice.

A lot of METZ's songs stay on one note for a measure or two, then bend up a half-step on the last beat. This is also what a lot of Lex Luger's beats do. It also reminded me of the Vines' decade-old hit "Get Free." Unlike "Get Free," none of METZ's songs have noticeable vocal melodies.

Floorlights enhanced the drama of the band's headbanging. I wrote down the phrase "dude drumming on my back" in my notes, then the dude who had been drumming on my back started rubbing it. Then he started drumming again.

METZ plays tonight at the Knitting Factory, 361 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn. 8:30 p.m. $12.

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