Review ·

At times, Plague Soundscapes, the second full-length album from self-proclaimed "noise terrorists" the Locust and the band's first since making a controversial move to independent giant Epitaph Records, sounds like a Buick being fed through a wood chipper; at others, more like ten thousand barnyard animals tumbling down a rocky mountainside. Or is a Colecovision being shoved into a garbage disposal more appropriate? Nevertheless, describing the Locust's music is a hell of a lot more fun than actually listening to it.


Legions of pseudo-hipster indie kids swear by the Locust, perhaps because claiming to listen to the band's music for recreation implies being musically evolved enough to "understand" something that all us stuffed-shirt fuddy-duddies just don't get. I can appreciate spastic gobbledygook in the context in which it was created: "LA Blues," the apocalyptic closing track on the Stooges' Fun House, as the natural climax to an album of such unrelenting violence; or the short-lived no wave movement in early '80s New York as a reaction against the corporate dilution of punk; or even Lou Reed's hour-long feedback opus Metal Machine Music, widely considered the most unlistenable record ever issued by a major label.

My aversion to the Locust's particular brand of gobbledygook doesn't stem from the fact that it sounds like a tornado ripping through a slaughterhouse (that's it!), but the sheer obviousness of it: the concept of mangling rock 'n' roll in the most perverse manner imaginable to save it from becoming trite and irrelevant is hardly original and has been put into practice with far more panache by bands less absorbed in their own self-righteousness.

Besides, it all becomes redundant rather quickly. After being pummeled with blast beats, barked vocals and Moog farts for two minutes (about four songs), Plague Soundscapes becomes just another background drone, as jarring as it is -- sort of like how people living in war-ravaged countries eventually get used to the sound of bombs exploding around them. In the span of 21 minutes, the Locust make the same point 23 times; now it's time to move on.

  • Recyclable Body Fluids In Human Shape
  • Identity Exchange Program Rectum Return Policy
  • Solar Panel Asses
  • Live from the Russian Compound
  • Earwax Halo Manufactured for the Champion in All of Us
  • Wet Dream War Machine
  • Listen The Mighty Ear Is Here
  • Who Wants A Dose Of The Clap?
  • Teenage Mustache
  • How To Become A Virgin
  • Anything Jesus Does I Can Do Better
  • Late For A Double Date With A Pile Of Atoms In The Water Closet
  • File Under 'Soft Core Seizures'
  • Practiced Hatred
  • PSst! Is That a Halfie in Your Pants?
  • The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like To See You In His Office
  • Pulling the Christmas Pig by the Wrong Pair of Ears
  • Can We Get Another Nail in the Coffin of Culture Theft?
  • Your Mantel Disguised as a Psychic Sasquatch
  • Twenty-Three Lubed Up Schizophrenics With Delusions of Grandeur
  • Captain Gaydar It's Time to Wind Your Clock Again
  • Priest With the Sexually Transmitted Diseases Get Out of My Bed
  • Pickup Truck Full of Forty Minutes
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