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The Locust
PLAGUE SOUNDSCAPES
(Epitaph)
Stars graphics

San Diego artcore freaks the Locust didnít make their name releasing albums: their lone previous full-length, 1999ís The Locust (Gold Standard Laboratories), is a three-inch, 21-track disc that lasts a mere 13 minutes. They manage to break the 20-minute mark on their Epitaph debut, which thrusts them into the mainstreamís outer limits alongside fellow travelers the Mars Volta and the Blood Brothers. Maybe even farther ó a quick look at the gnarly insect suits these guys wear in the CD booklet and in the video for "Solar Panel Asses" makes a case for them as the weirdest popular band in the country. "Solar Panel Asses" is one of at least four videos from Plague Soundscapes; my favorite is the bug-infested animation clip for "Live from the Russian Compound." That song is as close as the Locust come to rock convention: it goes from quiet verse to loud chorus, you can pretty much understand what frontman Justin Pearson is singing, and thereís even a stray disco beat. Otherwise, the pulverizing brevity of each song suggests grindcore as much as the electronic gurgles suggest avant-punk ó all of it performed with frightening chops and a wicked sense of humor.

(The Locust perform on Thursday January 29 at the Palladium in Worcester; call 508-797-9696.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: January 16 - 22, 2004
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