The Locust - Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard Labs
You really wouldn't think that a band playing demented circus grindcore - while wearing full-body insect costumes - was destined for a long career. Surely a group like that would just turn up, shock everybody and disappear into a puff of smoke? Not so with The Locust, who are well into their second decade.
Molecular Genetics from the Gold Standard Labs looks at the early part of their story, by collecting together 44 tracks from EPs, splits and albums released between 1997 and 2003. If you don't know The Locust that'll sound like a lot of music, but the whole thing only lasts 37 minutes. Each song wastes no time in collapsing in on itself, in a mess of drums and synth. It's like watching a train crash compilation on Youtube.
The end product is desperately silly, but powerful too. In that way their music represents their world view; life is also dangerously stupid. Just look at their darkly comic song titles: 'Skin Graft At Seventy-Five Miles Per Hour' and 'The Half Eaten Sausage Would Like To See You In His Office' are just two examples. Lyrics are all but impossible to make out, but the tone of voice is distinct. These are no feral snarls; they're sneers of utter disdain. What The Locust seem to have done is pioneer a new kind of violent sarcasm.
You'd expect a collection covering six years of songwriting to show progression, but that came later. These songs are basically the same idea repeated; each one sums up the others. It makes a good introduction to the band, but on the other hand it doesn't reach the heights of their second album, Plague Soundscapes. Long-time fans, meanwhile, will probably have most of these tracks already. This puts Molecular Genetics in an odd position; while it's an absolute blast to listen to, it's also sort of pointless.