There is a moment roughly 10 minutes into Metz’ set, not long after the call-to-arms opening salvo of ‘Knife in the Water’ has jolted the Soup Kitchen into a frenzy, and just as the first circle pit of the night materialises, that you could just take a moment’s pause and find yourself in the centre of a classic cliché of the rock ‘n’ roll mythology.

Here are a young Canadian band, still fresh faced and un-jaded by the music industry, embarking on their first headline European tour in support of their widely heralded debut album which has been in shops for mere months. They’re playing in the basement in a hipster part of town to a throng of expectant fans, who are quick to reciprocate their enthusiasm. It’s a momentary pause, before the fist-waving, beer-spilling, burly rocker in front of you crashes you back into the here and now, but it’s a beautiful one.

Toronto’s Metz may channel many of the now-classic Touch & Go and Sub Pop bands of the eighties (think the minimal thrash of Big Black meeting the growl of ‘Superfuzz Bigmuff’), but they do so with a confidence that prevents them from living in those bands’ shadows. Bassist Chris Slorach and drummer Hayden Menzies are brutal in their precision, underpinning every moment with a bellowing punk rock framework, allowing singer/guitarist Alex Edkins a platform from which to attack. His rasp-throated vocals and screeching, ferocious guitar stabs mesmerise as much as they terrorise, but either way the Soup Kitchen drinks in every moment of it, and the energy levels rise and rise.

They’re not a studious band – at one stage, Edkins quips that “this smoke might look cool, but get that shit in your eye and it’s brutal” after having to take a time out to clear his glasses between songs – and so with relatively little interactions, there is a rapport with the crowd. A swift 40 minutes passes at record speed, and a thrillingly raucous encore of ‘Rats’ – a clear standout from the album – brings an electric climax to the night.

And there is a sense of taking in this chance whilst it is still possible – not because they’ll return as mega-stadium rockers in two years’ time, but because they are enjoying that sweet spot in their career when everything seems perfect. If you sat down and wrote the blueprint for starting a rock band, this night would be one of the most essential targets – and ultimately, it might just be the most rewarding.

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Max Pilley

I'm a refugee in Manchester, having successfully escaped Birmingham in 2007. I'm a soon-to-be journalism student, used to edit the music section of the Manchester Uni paper, and have done a little radio production to boot. I've been adding bits and pieces to Silent Radio since 2012, mostly gig reviews, but a few albums too. Also hoping now to get involved with the brilliant radio show. When doing none of that, you can usually find me at some gig venue somewhere around town.