METZ The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn, NY, October 18

METZ The Knitting Factory,  Brooklyn, NY, October 18
Photo: Michelle Cortese
Hype — right now, METZ has it in fistfuls. Yes, they somehow managed to linked up with Sub Pop for their debut album. Sure, that debut has earned critical comparisons to the Melvins, the Jesus and Mary Chain and even Flipper. And, yes, they're probably being labelled as the biggest rock act to emerge from Toronto since, oh, Broken Social Scene.

The cynics should be rolling their eyes. Rightfully so, perhaps. Yet live, it's hard not to be swept in METZ's furor. On stage, they feel more like a hardcore act than grunge revivalists. Their infectious aggression, in fact, almost feels cartoonish.

At their CMJ set, drummer Hayden Menzies attacked his kit with menacing fury. Bassist Chris Slorach pogoed rhythmically, even during the moments of screeching feedback that filled the gaps between songs. And guitarist-vocalist Alex Edkins — who, at times, sounded like an animal with a limb caught in a bear trap — alternated between a deranged screech and a bellowing roar.

And despite an overly polite mosh pit — which, at its best, recalled a 1996 middle-school dance — the Toronto trio performed a bristling, concise and ear-rattlingly loud set that was the talk of the evening. If CMJ has a breakout star, it's METZ.