The Locust

Flight of the Wounded Locust

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The fifth release from San Diego's the Locust traverses much the same territory as their previous recordings. The Locust play like a seizure; any given song is a truncated, arrested, bastardized punk-metal hybrid that is augmented by the Roland keyboard. The addition of the Roland renders the song's crazed carousel accompaniment; rarely exceeding 60 seconds, the songs are wickedly carnival-esque. The lyrical content, which is unintelligible without a guide, provides a perfectly insane counterpoint to their garish amphetamine-paced songs. The one notable exception to the Locust's relentless narcotic pummel is the title track of this EP, "The Flight of the Wounded Locust." Clocking in at an approximately three minutes (easily the longest song in their repertoire), the song is grounded in a cyclical keyboard riff that fluctuates wildly, but is eventually beaten to death by relentless, sonically obscured primordial growling until it fades away defeated. This is what recurring nightmares sound like: a cocaine-fueled organ grinder on a killing spree. Following repeated listenings to Flight of the Wounded Locust, the imagined sensation of having your face sandblasted by psychotic circus monkeys begins to subside, at least long enough to enable the listener to discern actual songs. The seemingly arbitrarily placed keyboard riffs find a place in the structure of the songs, and the bloodcurdling screams and semi-automatic drumming fall into a bracing rhythm. The haunted circus vibe of the songs is perfectly accompanied by the Locusts' penchant for hilariously frightening B-movie-inspired artwork; in fact, it would be accurate to compare the Locusts' music to that of a B-flick. It's trying terribly hard to scare the living daylights out of you (and occasionally succeeds), but as ultimately well-intentioned as it is, it's impossible to take too seriously, and the band appears cognizant enough of the irony inherent in their music to have fun with it, and with their audience.

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