Monday, 4 July 2011

Hairspray Suppository

Here's the first stand alone, self titled EP from San Diego's singular Locust, released in 1997 on GSL Records.  It was their third (vinyl) release overall..  Confession time: I had this ripped to go for a while and I've endeavoured to start this post a few times before now..  But I had to repeatedly erase my feeble efforts at composition, as I kept trying to rekindle my initial enthusiasm for their early output.  I became aware listening to the tracks again, that I was succumbing to boredom and/or borderline indifference at times..  Perhaps with the constant reminder of their contemporary status as caricatures weighing heavily on my self righteous sense of perceived objectivity (yawn)..  Some may find this a contentious band for inclusion here (or, indeed, anywhere!), feeling that their inevitably increasing ascendancy from this point on signalled some kind of free for all in the ensuing dilution of grind's 'authenticity'..   Just to qualify, personally speaking, anything after the first LP is kind of a snoozefest to be honest, as they'd pretty much milked their formula dry of 'surprises' by then..  But these releases are remarkable as they did mark a turning point of sorts and indeed (depending on how old you are, maybe) it was for the worse..  But I don't feel the Locust were entirely culpable or that it was as drastic a shift as some 'purists' would have you believe.  Merely symptomatic of the ongoing evolution of 'extreme' hardcore at the time (remember the emo violence offshoot? discordant riffing, shrill vocals etc..) and the collision of such with an art school sensibility (as opposed to the interchangable grindcore themes of gore, porn, weed, politics or comedy) and it's tendency toward avant garde abstraction (ahem, pretension?).. Oh yeah, well what does it sound like?  Well, to quote the immortal HST, 'a high pitched, chattering whine..' of garbled dissonance.  Repeated swirling insectoid blasts, smothered with burbling analogue keyboard effects!  Nine teeth grindingly quick tracks that should hopefully rattle a few cages along the way, one way or another!

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