Much more than the novelty act they are often billed as, the Locust continually pushes the limits of music and people’s tolerance for sonic abstractions. They have single-handedly brought an entire genre of music to the mainstream’s attention — what other grind band has contributed to a movie soundtrack? The Locust demands recognition; by combining an extremely abrasive and bizarre sound with unique packaging and an intense live presence complete with costumes, they have infiltrated the mainstream.
The San Diego four-piece’s three-song EP Follow the Flock, Step in Shit is actually a reissue of some older material. The first two songs were on the split five-inch picture disc with Jenny Piccolo; the third was on the Cry Now, Cry Later Vol. 4 compilation. The original five-inch split wouldn’t play on almost every record player, so most people never got to hear the two tracks. This CD is square and a fraction of the size of a normal CD, so it’s conceivable that some people still won’t be able to hear them.
The sound here is not as produced or polished as it is on the Locust’s other recent release. The tracks were recorded by a younger version of the band, still refining their sound. The vocals are deeper, more growled and less high-pitched screams than on some newer releases. The band’s infamous sound is intact, combining grind blasts and frantic guitar with electronic elements. It’s all a bit more primitive than what they’re doing currently, but it still adds to the amazingly chaotic insanity that the Locust has innovated.
Reissuing old material when a band becomes successful is always a good idea; it lets new fans get their hands on some material that may be hard to find or out of print. It also helps provide an understanding of where the band is coming from and what they have evolved out of. But to put out a reissue of only three songs, a total playing time of three minutes and eleven seconds, is a bit much. Still, the three songs are great and the aesthetics of the packaging and the disc itself make this EP hard to resist.