Video Premiere: Úzkost – “For Property and Profit”
It’s fair to say we don’t love cops here at the Terlet. Luckily for your ears and eyes, neither does Pittsburgh’s Úzkost. These blackened makers of appalling noise are marching their way through 2023 dropping a single every couple months, and the second one is a Molotov cocktail of personal bitterness that explodes with moments of grinding disgust and death metal muscle.
It’s called “For Property and Profit” (no prizes for guessing the message here). Like their first single of the year, “Blood Debt,” the presentation fits the pointed message and benefits from balanced yet claustrophobic production. Unlike “Blood Debt,” which is a more straightforward salvo of black metal, “For Property and Profit” is a homunculus of different sounds that shifts shape as it crawls forward.
The song’s story is personal for the band. This isn’t a boilerplate “ACAB” missive, but a composition born of tangible loss—police killed Úzkost frontman Josh Thieler’s aunt 21 years ago today. He describes the song as one the band felt they needed to do, noting that “there have been so many lives lost or destroyed by policing in this country (disproportionately Black and Brown lives). The U.S. spends over $200 billion dollars a year to fund this system of oppression,” which kills around 1,000 civilians per year (as far as records show). Thieler’s aunt Bonnie was one such case:
My aunt was in her own home. She was doing nothing wrong. The police murdered her. They thought no one would care and they thought they could get away with it. They painted her as poor, uneducated, a drunkard, and violent. And they got away with it.
When writing this song, I kept thinking, ‘how many more were murdered since February of 2002?’ And no one really has any idea. It didn’t stop with her. It didn’t stop with George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, or Tyre Nichols. But it must be stopped. How many more need to be wrongfully imprisoned, tortured, and murdered before making necessary changes? The institution of policing in this country must be dismantled brick by brick and razed from the earth.
Defund and abolish.
Here’s “For Property and Profit.” The digital single is out now on Bandcamp.