Albert Adams is loud, aggressive and willing to go out on a limb. When we first spoke, the band was apprehensive about minimizing its setup for an outdoor performance. Despite its big, booming sound, the duo relies on little more than drums and bass. And how can you convey a pounding, chaotic anthem without the pounding or the chaos? Things were starting to fall apart. Then I offered the band a small, gritty belt amp, and a light went off: portable and electric aren’t mutually exclusive.
I met Jordan Adams and Thomas McNeely on a cold, sunny afternoon in West Asheville. The pair was waiting beside DeSoto Lounge with its bass and boombox in tow. The wind was howling. The drum track — recorded over an old U2 cassette — was hissy. The alley was uncharacteristically busy. And the light was patchy.
But the band was cheerful and patient. We had discussed a loose concept, but details were patchy. Luckily, Albert Adams was energized and willing, even anxious, to experiment. We walked fast. We slowed down. We filmed from the front. We shot from behind. We tried closeups. We shot from afar. As the air cooled and Adams’ fingers grew sluggish, it still wasn’t clear if we had captured the vision. And then, on the last take, it all fell in place. The band hit its cues. The camera followed suit. And the wind, miraculously, offered a reprieve.