New Erections
The Locust

by Chad Beck

Argue if you'd like, but it seems the two best heavy bands on the planet are Bloomington, Indiana's Racebannon and San Diego's The Locust. Racebannon attack the consciousness with long, psychedelic jabs of pummeling rhythm, dramatic vocals and ferocious guitars, while the Locust concentrate more on short bursts of aural violence and the densest onslaught of music since your roommate accidentally played Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica on 33 RPMs. Forging just over 20 minutes of meticulously constructed madness, The Locust's New Erections is 11 tracks of pure sonic joy jack-hammering every trite act daring to engage the culture at large.

In the mind of The Locust there is nothing but the jugular worth aiming at and there are several cuts here that do the trick. Starting off with "AOTKPTA," the stylishly costumed quartet savagely attack their instruments in fits likely to set off seizures in sensitive listeners while simultaneously engaging fans of complex narratives and musical composition. Tracks such as the brilliantly titled "The Unwilling ... Led by the Unqualified ... Doing the Unnecessary ... For the Ungrateful" are unsettling and immediate, like a sobering message from your doctor. Most of this quartet's latest output relies, successfully, on this pattern.

More stripped down than previous efforts, New Erections' producer Alex Newport seemingly advised the band to use fewer vocal effects in favor of raw deliveries and threadbare emotions. His advice succeeds on the blinding "Full Frontal Obscurity" and "We Have Reached A Verdict: Nobody Gives a S***," wherein The Locust deliver lines like a rabid priest on a funeral pyre. The band's creativity and drive to evolve their sound are realized throughout New Erections, especially on the sound collage "Book of Bot" and the creepy "Scavenger, Invader." Setting the standards of heavy music, The Locust have succeeded in delivering another staggering record. You've been warned.

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