Premiere: Adzes – A Forest // Digging in the Dirt
One-man anticapitalist sludge band Adzes is back with two sparkling fresh covers of genuine classics.
A little while back I wrote a few words about Climate // Capital, the debut from Seattle’s Adzes. Today I am pleased to premiere Adzes’ latest. A Forest // Digging In The Dirt is a two-track covers EP that explores places metal doesn’t normally tread.
Adzes is the work of a man named Forest so it’s maybe more than a little fitting that he’d choose to cover “A Forest” by seminal goth rockers The Cure. Standing on a Beach was one of the first chunks of vinyl I bought for myself to play on my father’s dusty old record player. I was a generally unpleasant 13 year old that didn’t know shit about the world but I DID know that The Cure was a cool band. When I found a used copy at Half Price Books I reckoned I ought to buy it. “Boys Don’t Cry”, “Jumping Someone Else’s Train”, “A Hanging Garden”, “A Forest”. Goddamn. I replayed that collection of old Cure singles over and over again. I know every track by heart. I love those songs. It’s always a dicey proposition for a band, particularly a metal band, to cover an honest-to-god classic rock tune but if you were to ask me, “Hey, does this Adzes cover of ‘A Forest’ hold a candle to the original?” I will tell you, honestly, that Adzes breathes new life into “A Forest”. I will also tell you that this is the only version of the song that I want to listen to now. From the doom-laden chime from hand-built guitar pedals, to the touches of electronic swirl, Adzes offers heft and sprawl to the song that feels essential. Capital // Climate didn’t feature much in the way of clean singing . With “A Forest”, Forest allows his plaintive croon to penetrate out through the woods. Perhaps we’ll hear more in future releases.
“Digging in the Dirt” takes Gabriel’s 1992 single and gives it a biting edge that makes the lyrics about working through internalized rage and toxic masculinity feel palpable. Friend of the ‘pod Will from Redbait joins in to contribute vocals and play a mean slide guitar lead that drives the performance. Where the original featured Afro-pop influenced instrumentals, Forest and Will find an ugly middle ground between sludge and country. You won’t hear anything else like it today.
A Forest // Digging in the Dirt is out August 2nd on Bandcamp. Get over there and preorder it. Proceeds will go to support RAICES, an organization committed to freeing people from America’s concentration camps, so be sure to spend freely.