bill (May 12, The Social) was the undisputed boss
this week. In fact, it’s been a long time since a one-two punch has been as complete a knockout as this.
A fun fact about Los Angeles’ FIDLAR – besides the fact that their moniker’s an acronym for Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk – is that they’ve got some royal underground blood trickling through their veins with two sons of T.S.O.L.’s
Greg Kuehn in the band. But besides interesting trivia, that little detail has no detectable connection to what FIDLAR is doing musically. These kids are more spiritual kin to acts like the Black Lips
and Bass Drum of Death.
As good and current of a genre as it is, garage punk
is more than just crowded, it’s crowded with half-steppers. FIDLAR, however, is the cream,
embodying the kind of thrill and fun this kind of music can capture when done right. The requisite attitude is important, and these waster board punks practically exhale it. But they stand apart through exceptional marksmanship and sharpness as both songwriters and performers. And live, they incite true excitement.
The searing attack of Metz’s first LP made my annual top albums list
back in 2012 , so I’ve been waiting – intently, patiently – for their Orlando debut. FIDLAR may have been the ones who eventually pushed the party to the brink but Metz charged the hardest,
coming down like an air strike and sending the first serious thunderbolt into the crowd.
There’s an attitude in deeper, more extreme strata of punk and metal that production and construction should be as dirty and crude
as possible. In the quest for truth, intensity or whatever, this often gets pushed to its logical but pointlessly muddy terminus. But Metz is the latest, brightest buster of that flawed hard-line logic. This Toronto trio works punk and noise rock in ways that wield sonic clarity
like a bazooka, proving that it can yield greater force and torque in the right hands.
In fact, for all the crazed heat they throw off, Metz’s power is a model of total focus,
its sum so impressive because no energy is wasted – not on sonic wandering, not on image, nothing. It’s all loaded into the music, and it speaks for itself like an elephant stampede.
Local support was Dryspell,
an Orlando band with which I was unfamiliar. They do decent, true emo
that’s moody, full and peppered with thoughtful angles. But juxtaposition can be everything, and this was a tough – no, hopeless – bill for them to shine.
This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.
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