I have a Locust poster sitting in my room as we speak. I really thought when I first heard about them I would have no desire to listen to it, but I downloaded a copy of “Plague Landscapes” and was hooked. This is something different from The Locust, as some semblance of easily-discernible structure (I’m sure their previous material had some high-faluting, difficult structure that I couldn’t begin to dissect) really begins to make its presence felt throughout the entirety of “Safety Second, Body Last”. The long lead-in to the final movement of the first track really is a calm moment in a disc of blinding melodies and freak show-like atmospheres. The intensity in this section of the disc, before breaking out in the same Zappa-influenced noise that people know and love from The Locust bubbles just barely beneath the track, incidental music for a movie that moves between dark and light often. The disc may only be a total of ten minutes, but the density of the average movement on “Safety Second” is twice or thrice the normal load for a track – the ear will spasm trying to pick up every minute noise on this disc.
Don’t turn this disc off during the false ending of “Hairy Mouth”, as the true ending will provide much more of a climactic ending than the fuzz that seems to lead the disc out. In terms of structure, the early “empty” section of the first track has a nice analogue in the similarly empty “false ending” of the last. The Locust’s strongest suit on this EP is their ability to take what would normally be heard as the remnants of an unprofessional band (such as the scraping of the guitar strings) and use them perfectly in the context of their music. The Locust can thus be said to be the current day Spike Jones, with each of the bells and whistles being used for the same general effect. The structure of the disc manifests itself into a movement that seems destined for radio, with each member of the band contributing to a section that seems almost Corrosion of Conformity-esque in its rendition. “Safety Second, Body Last” is a bold step in a direction that showcases the malleability of a band that has already single-handedly re-formed the noise genre with their previous recordings. A little pricey at $11 (for 10 minutes of music), but the disc does have high re-play value.
Top Movement: New Tongue Sweepstakes
The Locust – Safety Second, Body Last / 2005 Ipecac Records / 2 Tracks / http://www.thelocust.com / http://www.ipecac.com / Reviewed 09 April 2005