The Locust - The Locust (Cover Artwork)

The Locust

The Locust (1999)


Quite possibly the most controversial band in the scene right now, the Locust have gathered a legion of diehard fans and amassed one hell of an opposition in the process. Critics and zines have debated back and forth on the merit of the band, dissecting everything from their sense in fashion to their artistic worth to the inherent violence in the music. Violence... now this has always be an element associated with the Locust. If you've ever taken the time to read interviews or show reviews, you'd know that some pretty fucked up shit has gone down at their shows. People lighting off fireworks in the pit, venues getting trashed, band members getting attacked, the list goes on. Some of it's so ridiculous, one has to wonder if it's fabricated. This whole rather humorous controversy, myth and fact, has added quite a bit of mystique to the band and made them quite famous/infamous in their own right.

Now as much fun as it is to talk about the band, let's get down to what really matters: the music. I chose to review their full length, as it is in my opinion, the best thing these guys have recorded. The band crunches out an ultra-fast blend of indie, hardcore, noise, grind, and... synth? Yeah, there is a keyboard involved, adding yet another interesting layer to the already volatile mix. The music is chaotic to say the least, there is so much going on in every song and it happens so quickly that it's a little hard on the ears the first time around. Nearly every song clocks in between thirty seconds and a minute long, never staying in one place and keeping the listener on edge throughout. On first listen, there is a bit of a shock value involved. If you aren't used to this brand of music, the record will more than likely make you a little uncomfortable and confused. This wears off after a while, the record makes more sense with each repeated spin. You'll eventually begin to see the order in the chaos and noise. You'll see the genius in the bizarre keyboard melody, the rhythmic screaming, the stop/start/slow/fast song dynamics, the furious blastbeats, and the occasional wicked guitar riff. Then you're addicted, this album is like fucking crack.

I couldn't write a Locust review without mentioning the lyrics and song titles. Priceless, to say the least. They are all very abstract and Burroughs-esque, humorous yet disturbing at the same time. With titles like "High Maintenance Libido, Bring the Whole Family" and "Skin Graft at Seventy-Five Miles per Hour", you know the band has a sense of humor, as pitch-black as that may be. The lyrics sheet is essential (good luck deciphering the vocals) and is certainly an interesting read.

The Locust grows on you like a fungus. I'm not quite sure if that's necessarily a healthy thing, but it's true nonetheless. Buy this album now.

(Note: The CD version is a tiny 3-inch disc. It'll play in pretty much every CD player except your car stereo.)