Dusted Reviews

The Locust - Safety Second, Body Last

today features
reviews charts
labels writers
info donate

Search by Artist

Sign up here to receive weekly updates from Dusted

email address

Recent Reviews

Dusted Reviews

Artist: The Locust

Album: Safety Second, Body Last

Label: Ipecac

Review date: May. 16, 2005

These might be the longest songs The Locust have ever written. This 10-minute EP comprises a mere two songs, which is rock opera length by the standards of these Southern Cal splatter masters. But truth be told, each of these tunes is broken up into sonic shards of under a minute (the first track is “Armless and Overactive (Who’s Handling the Population Paste)/Invented Organs (New Tongue Sweepstakes/Consenting Abscess)” and the second “One Decent Leg (Movement Across the Membrane/Oscillating Eyes)/Immune System Overtime (Hairy Mouth)"), so you can really listen to them as medleys of their signature trope.

There is, however, plenty of new material to be savored here, most notably the band’s increasing use of space and electronics (as opposed to their somewhat more tentative incorporation on the excellent Plague Soundscapes). In particular, they use a lot of sampled and mangled voices, loud swooshing noises, and sub-elephantine bass flatulence. Generally, these are used as transitions between onslaughts (I wait for the band to start using the electronics as part of their signature squall – maybe that’ll come on the next full-length). Don’t worry, though: there are still howls aplenty, as well as spazzcore riffs, pummeling blast beats, and a generally misanthropic attitude (“You won’t even say shit if your mouth is full of it,” for example). And of course, the slightly mannered sci-fi trappings are all over this one.

But while I generally applaud the sonic stretching, a lot of this material seems preoccupied with finding a hook, a melody, or some other such nugget of convention that the band previously seemed allergic to. It sounds like the band is still finding its way towards something new, a synthesis of their anarcho-thrash beginnings, their sonic experimentation, and some mutant lyricism. They’re not there yet, but it could be utterly destructive once they arrive. Stay alert: another brief, brutal salvo is doubtless on the way soon.

By Jason Bivins

Read More

View all articles by Jason Bivins

Find out more about Ipecac

©2002-2011 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved.