LIVE: Metz / Yung / The Bodies @ The 100 Club, London

By Ben Tipple

The fact that the punk genre has expanded to incorporate a whole range of guitar led styles won’t come as a shock to anyone. Traditional punk still holds its ground, celebrating a vibrant scene across the country, as do the punk outfits that birthed pop-punk in the 90s. In recent years, the reverb heavy indie-friendly variation of the genre has begun to take hold, with the likes of Pissed Jeans, Fucked Up, Iceage, Male Bonding and Hookworms moving from strength to strength. Yet overlap between the various punk scenes is minimal.

Walking in to London’s iconic 100 Club shortly after doors, it is immediately evident that tonight is more of a skinny jeans affair. But as the veritable smorgasbord of heavy soundscapes that await tonight’s punters begins, it all becomes a far less civilised affair.

Opening act The Bodies hark back to the Mod subculture, with the occasional foray into detached distorted screams. Dominated by drawn out drones, their songs appear to lose their footing from time to time. Intriguing in its unusualness, it lacks the certain energy displayed by Danish rockers Yung.

Increasing the tempo, Yung overlay their noise-rock with an unusually harmonious surf-rock vibe. Their sound channels Nordic isolation yet remains remarkably upbeat. Hinting at a ferocity that never quite materialises, Yung deliberately teeter tantalisingly on the edge of chaos. The considered ability to rein it back with their warm melodies is instantly admirable.

Preceded by an amuse bouche of distortion, Canadian Sub Pop signees Metz are anything but reserved. Basking in a wall of reverb, the trio bombard the sold-out crowd with a relentless wall of noise that turns the 100 Club into a frantic sweat box. With pits opening at either side of the pillar, it isn’t long before security look both bemused and relinquished. Bodies pile on top of bodies, as vocalist Alex Adkin’s shirt all but disintegrates.

There’s little let up as feedback switches to new track ‘Acetate’ – one of the most explosive tracks of the night. Allowing Metz to showcase material from their imminent (and brilliant) ‘II’ LP, nothing appears to be restrained. Album closer ‘Kicking A Can Of Worms’ is still drenched in exhilaration, despite its comparably melodic composition. Conversely, the thunderous ‘Wet Blanket’ closes proceedings leaving the room as euphoric as it is exhausted.

Punk has many guises, and in Metz, it’s mouth-wateringly close to perfect. This scene is no more underground than the next, no less punk; it’s just parked in a different station.