The Locust

Plague Soundscapes (Epitaph)

With music that lingers somewhere between nü-metal and screeching performance art, the Locust has grandiose plans to change perceptions of what metal can be. Plague Soundscapes, a blitzkrieg of razor-blade-sharp intricacies and non-audible lyrics, is a 23-track tour of debauchery that kicks indie rockers in the teeth and flips off the folks who thought they knew where metal could head. The 23 tracks clock in at an amazing 21 minutes -- and three seconds (they all count on this record). Distorted guitar lines, heart-attack quick drumming, electro-clash-worthy sound effects and drum 'n' bass riffs drop like bombs. Occasionally, throwbacks to Metallica's early days appear -- sixteenth-note lightning-fast hi-hats and spider web guitar lines explode, and the pulse never, ever slows down. The music from such chaos comes from the snatches of melodies that appear and then are distorted through other melodies layered on top in fragments and odd time signatures. By the time the songs are halfway through, one doesn't know where one artistic statement begins and ends, but the "mess" is art-rock on speed.

Bassist and singer Justin Pearson lays out his reasons for the band's onstage assault of vomit, bug costumes and jaw-dropping conceptual music simply in the band's bio. "I just want to change the way people look at music, or maybe just destroy it in general. Things are so normal, safe, 4/4 timing, blah," he says. "Sometimes it makes me want to throw up." Clearly, the Locust is making the thrash crowd reconsider the shape, the size and the putrid smell of rebellion.

 
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