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Cover Art

The Locust ( http://www.thelocust.com )

Plague Soundscapes
GSL ( )
Even clocking in at twenty-one minutes, it cannot be said that The Locust’s latest album is a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affair. Plague Soundscapes is quite possibly the most brutal punk rock album ever recorded. Over the course of its demanding 23 tracks it is impossible to do anything but listen intently while Soundscapes is playing because, frankly there is no place to hide from this music. Aggressive and hard, biting and visceral, unbelievably caustic- none of these terms do Plague Soundscapes any justice. The Locust have taken Devo’s love of synths and matching uniforms, The Minutemen’s sense of brevity and Korn’s gut-busting low end and combine them to create the most feral attack in rock. Like savage bites from a rabid wolverine, each track on Plague Soundscapes lashes out violently and just as instantly withdraws before the whole effect takes hold leaving the listener unsure of what has just transpired- only that it was violent. Pinwheeling between the ultra-violent (“Listen, The Mighty Ear Is Here�) and the ultra-absurd (“Identity Exchange Program Rectum Return Policy�) The Locust charge through each track with equal amounts of power and aggression to the point that the music itself deconstructs. Lyrics that could be best described as an anthology of poetic self-loathing and black humor (scan “What if I don’t get a chance to go soon? What then?� or “Wrecked ‘em? I don’t even know him.�) get lost, run over and trampled on in the stampede of guitars, synthesizers, and drums until they’re nothing more than shrieks and snarls. The order of the day here is raw anger with no attempts at subtlety; The Locust purge each of their songs in one fell splat and then let the streak marks they make bleed into one another letting the emotions blend together so that dissatisfaction becomes resentment becomes love. It’s not a pretty thing but neither is The Locust’s subject matter or the imagery they use to express it (pigs, transsexuals, lepers and martyrs are common themes on Plague Soundscapes); the band choosing Zappa-esque sick tactics in an attempt to lead by negative example. Listening to Plague Soundscapes can best be summed up summed up in two words: physically draining. The overall aesthetic of the record is just to brutal; while it may only be 21 minutes long, listening to Plague Soundscapes seems like it takes longer because of the delivery. If this record was any longer serious medical attention may be required.

By Bill Adams
Mar 13, 2004

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