The Locust – [Album]

Wednesday, 08 August 2012

If ever there has been a band to shake me down to the very core of my being – to swoop down upon my unsuspecting head and snatch away any sense of knowing what the fuck is going on and why the fuck it’s happening – that band would be The Locust. Never have I seen such utter chaos as I did the dozen or more times I was able to bear witness to their live set; there, I saw entire audiences seizing spasmodically to The Locust’s special blend of power-violence, grindcore and sci-fi sound effects.

Molecular Genetics From The Gold Standard Labs is a remix/re-master album, compiling every track released on their old (and now sadly defunct) record label Gold Standard Laboratories. The album is set up like a reverse chronology; starting with their split EP with Melt Banana from 2002 and running all the way through to their self-titled 7” from 1997, with a few “singles” sprinkled in for good measure. Everything from the old days has been polished up nicely, rendering many guitar and synth lines actually audible amongst the madness that is The Locust’s songs. The average track on this album is about fifty seconds in length; no chorus/bridge/whatever, just a handful of parts, all with different time signatures and no discernible key signature. The tracks are so well-orchestrated, tightly performed and just plain weird that they come off not only sounding great, but also like the soundtrack to an alien invasion.

The Locust have always had a tongue-and-cheek lyrical style which can show a deep socio-political consciousness and also leave the reader (we all know the listener can’t tell what the hell they’re saying) scratching their head. The lyrics usually give you just enough of a hint to give you an idea of what they’re trying to get across, while still letting your imagination fill in all the blanks. Here’s an example from a track off the album Flight Of The Wounded Locust:

Alas, Here Come The Hypochondriacs To Wait With You In The Lobby

"Drained blood from your own spine in a trophy.
Dead skin cells drop charity crumbs.

Biting the hand that feeds, deemed an unhealthy meal.

When slipping on someone else’s elbow grease,

gurgling devices lose their appetite.
Mirages seem to commission blame,

while pointing the finger cracks the mirror."

I’ve been a fan of The Locust for a long time now. I’ve seen them play countless shows, often with other amazing bands such as Cattle Decapitation, Daughters, Erase Errata and Lightning Bolt. I’ve seen so many of their seemingly endless side project bands like (Holy Molar, All Leather and Head Wound City) that they almost threaten to bleed together into one terrifying, psychotic conglomerate. Their other albums not released on GSL (Plague Soundscapes, Safety Second Body Last, and especially New Erections, among others) are all fantastic pieces of indie music at its finest. Molecular Genetics From The Gold Standard Labs brought me back to the beginning of a long musical journey I’ve taken thankfully over the last dozen years or so. It’s a must-have for any hardcore Locust fan, and I’d recommend it to anyone else with a strong stomach and a penchant for blast beats, manic screaming and some of the weirdest music ever created.



Molecular Genetics From The Gold Standard Labs
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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