If the opening thirty seconds of No One Wants To Speak About It by Adzes doesn’t immediately hook you, I don’t think we can be friends. Nothing hits the spot like heavy Isis-inspired riffs brutally nailed to a cross of harmonization and beauty. Sludgy and dark, angry and unforgiving, and bearing the unrelenting anti-capitalist and anti-fascist message, it is everything I want in my home-grown one man metal projects.
I first stumbled into Adzes via a random recommendation when he released Climate // Capital. Then, as happens when there’s so many good releases in a year, it kind of got lost in the shuffle and I mostly forgot about it. Until, that is, I was listening to the excellent podcast “Undergrounded,” where in the very first episode Forest Bohrer, the man behind Adzes, was interviewed. At the end of the episode, they played a song and… fuck me if I didn’t recognize it instantly. Sure enough, I was one of the few people who bought the album. Fast forward to a short while ago when No One Wants to Speak About It was announced, and I immediately clamored to get my hands on the promo.
It’s safe to say I wasn’t ready. I expected catchy riffs, quality sludge, and a solid anti-capitalist slant, but what I got… What I got was like opening up a sealed gate to the plane of rage. Which was perfect timing, because I have lots of rage right now. More than I know what to do with. So much that I feel like I am ready to explode at a moment’s notice. I barely even know what to write anymore.
I want to talk about the rage I feel when I walk around the rich neighbourhood that borders on the middle class neighbourhood I live in, and see massive houses with gated driveways and four Porsche SUVs in the driveway, and how the only way for me to safely get food is to put another human being’s life at risk with the gig economy. I want to talk about how rich white people are pushing to reopen the economy when it means that thousands of people will die to protect an imaginary market where people use algorithms to create wealth out of nothing and then use it to subjugate everyone else. I want to talk about the fact that a Black woman magically falls from her balcony and dies while alone in a room filled with police the day after a cop kills a Black man by kneeling on his neck for nine minutes.
Yeah, this is an album review. Yet last night I watched police slash car tires, taze and drag Black people from their cars, pepper spray peaceful protesters, shoot at journalists and people on their own property, and drive through crowds with SUVs. Don’t we call this terrorism? How can I write about an album right now?
In part I can because No One Wants To Speak About It is the soundtrack to my mental state. The pounding rhythmic anger of “Divide,” a song about the abuse of immigrants, has a raw and distorted bassline which captures horror of ICE abuses. “Jesus Built My Death Squads” leverages repetitive dissonance and blasts of feedback which mirror the hatred in my soul for white supremacists. The blackened d-beat hardcore of “No One Wants To Speak About It” evokes the ecological fury of watching our leaders stick their heads in the sand about the climate crisis. “415,” a Godflesh-styled interlude, is a few moments to seeth about the implicit violence of societal inaction. “Demon-Hunted” forms a fervent anthem, pummeling its riffs into a call for action and resolve. “Overcome” channels the experience of laying awake at night, the question “who can tell what the future will be like?” a haunting echo. “Loss” perfectly represents the fear of hospitals in the midst of a pandemic, of loved ones in distress with nothing to be done. Finally, “I Won’t Last Forever” is the ennui of trying to survive this hellscape, warring with darkly hopeful knowledge that it cannot last.
If you are feeling angry, alone, hopeless, scared, furious, and helpless, I think Adzes is as well. No One Wants To Speak About It is a reminder that we should all be aligned against the grinning death’s head of capitalism and white supremacy, and that there’s more of us than there are of them. It also happens to be a meticulously crafted and well produced album which is catchy and doesn’t hide its influences while remaining creative and unique.
There, I guess that’s an album review.