The Locust – Safety Second, Body Last

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Release Date: 04/11/05

If you’ve heard The Locust before, it’s most likely it was Plague Soundscapes that you’ve heard. The Locust were strangely well-known and relevant in their hey days of the early-to-mid-2000’s. The band are perhaps best known for their varying screamed vocal styles, dadaist lyrical content, and noisy, synth-infused, non-stop beat-your-head-against-the-wall grindcore, all while somehow managing to be at least a little catchy (from Plague Soundscapes onwards at least).

On Safety Second, Body Last however, the band begins to take a new approach… an approach that is more fully explored on their follow-up 2007 LP, New Erections. These grind-y walls of sound, give way to still experimental, yet slower-paced, noise-rock-of-sorts passages.

Also quite noticeably different, whereas Plague Soundscapes featured 23 songs in 21:03, this EP is really just one song split into two tracks and four movements: “Armless and Overactive / Invented Organs” and “One Decent Leg / Immune System Overdrive”, with a run time of 10:09, that’s an average of 5:05~ per track, vs. the 0:55~ average length of their previous release.

Much like any pseudo-or-actual punk-based album, when you see longer track times you know the pace is going to be a bit slower, or contain several more mid-tempo or slow passages. This assumption proves to come to fruition, but the breaks in intensity lend to moments that somehow feel even more intense than many of their previous moments.

The ending phase of The Locust’s career found the band half giving up the almost never-ending keyboard-infused grindcore/powerviolence for genre’s more based in noise and electronic genre’s generally found outside the confines of the punk scene and it’s all the better for it.

The EP still starts out with a bang for 27 seconds before heading into less familiar territory, and ultimately, while the release wasn’t that popular at the time, or even now, I feel this release has a good amount of crossover appeal and would be liked by more even casual Locust fans if it had a higher profile.

Rating: 4.25/5
Purchase: Bandcamp
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