Brutal, dissonant, screaming, ultra-fast hardcore band from San Diego. Their style of music is hard to nail down to one specific category. Grind, power-violence, spock rock, hardcore - the list goes on. They mix blindingly fast tempos with often discordant melodies (if you can call them that). These are often broken up by infectious, spacey keyboard lines. The vocals are spastic, raging screams. The lyrics are strange and other-wordly, and frequently impossible to make out (although they do supply a lyric sheet with their records).

The Locust became something of an underground phenomenon as of late, becoming popular with the black glasses-clad sect of hip indie rock / emo / core kids. Their antics have led to them becoming somewhat chic amongst scenesters. However, despite my dissatisfaction with their following, it's difficult to deny that there is a strange, intriguing majesty locked within their primal, metallic screams. There is something oddly fascinating about their abrupt, very short songs. When I first heard them I was left feeling uncomfortable and confused, unsure of what I had witnessed. I couldn't see why people liked them so much. But after borrowing their self-titled from a friend (which is, I might add, not the normal compact disc size, but very small, like a minidisc) they began to grow on me quickly. Their songs are simultaneously terrifying and fascinating, and there is more talent present than might first appear. This stuff is not that easy to play. Some songs (especially "Straight From the Horse's Mouth") feature ingenious lines and passages in their always less than 2 minute lengths, and they will keep you coming back for more.

Of course, like a lot of bands, it's hard to describe The Locust to someone who has never heard them. When I first played them for my friend, he described them as "the musical equivalent of a riot." Besides, what can you say about a band with a song called "Skin Graft at 75 Miles Per Hour"? (apparently more than I thought.)

Side notes:

- Justin Pearson, bass player and vocalist, remains the goofy scenster kingpin of San Diego, and should not be taken seriously 90% of the time.

- A friend of mine put out a phony Locust bootleg that has become something of a phenomenon as of late. The cover is silver-foil with embossed lettering featuring a photocopied picture of an AIDS molecule. The title is "The Only Element That Matters is Einsteineum" and it was released on I Don't Feel A Thing Records. The vinyl itself is very professional-looking, clear with a blue Locust screened onto it. Tracklist:

The Only Element That Matters is Einsteineum
Robots Under The Influence of Heroism
Never Too Young To Ride the Horse
Behind the Dumpster Lies The Path to Legends
After Ideology Destroys Serenity Honor Inspires Virility
Formal Dance (Reprise)

The music consists of wild animal hunting calls. Overall I think this was an excellent prank and a great piss-take on The Locust and the aesthetic they have developed (that's been copied by countless children of emo suburbia). In an interesting development, I was in Eastside Records, where the guys responsible for the record work, hanging out with those pranksters when who should walk in but Justin Pearson himself. He saw the record and promptly started whining, telling us how it's illegal and "not cool man". However, the rest of the band were apparently highly amused by the record . . .

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