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It's better than your genitals.
on April 22, 2005
Oftimes, a reviewer will set up a dichotomy for the fans of a band: "You'll either love them or hate them." they'll say, and because most folks love some rules to throw around with conviction, this cry is taken up.
But this is not the case. I neither loved nor hated The Locust. For the duration of my relationship to their music, I always viewed them as a drug dealing friend: A cool guy to bring to parties, but I never wanted to turn my back on him.
Alas, I made that mistake with SAFETY SECOND, BODY LAST. I turned my back, and the house party that is my appreciation for music lost its mind, wound up in some dank club in the heart of a bloody metropolis, the concrete walls seeping decay, the morals and physics of the world assidiously warped faster than the switch from "Armless and Overactive" to "Who's Handling the Population Paste."
What changed? Why has this plague, that once festered externally found a way into my blackened innards to gnaw a way to my heart?
The music once pressed in on me with claustrophobic ferocity, and existed as this unrelenting wall. On PLAGUE SOUNDSCAPES, The Locust was at the listener with the gusto of starving Hyenas, scratching away with riffs and apocalyptic keyboard acrobatics that seared and gouged with no breathing space, like the thirty-second blasts called "songs" were really long drawn out epics, but nobody would wait their turn for their various solos.
In SAFETY SECOND, BODY LAST, there IS that breathing room, as frenzied spasms give way to jarring atmospherics. And, somehow, those gasps do little to instil hope in the listener for any palatability of the music, more like a glimpse of hope as one is drawn back for an instant to catch their breath in a spray and then plunged back into a bathtub filled with cheap beer, mescaline and blood.
Another interesting aspect is the length of the songs. Previously, Locust songs could count themselves lucky to break the one-minute mark. Here, there are two tracks, spanning five "movements" with sub-parts.
Perhaps a tongue-in-cheek commentary on The Mars Volta and Green Day's sudden success with overwrought concept albums, perhaps an ernest attempt at branching out.
This IS, in the end, an EP, though, and furthermore a LOCUST EP, so the two tracks clock in at just barely over ten minutes. (Split 6min/3+min) And while fans may decry the lack of all out, rabid attack, this is the sort of luxurious slaughter that separates a gang fight from a serial killer, as the Locust chain the listener to the chair, and leave their face a mass of mushroom bruises.