The Locust Mellow Out

The Locust Mellow Out
"Anyone can scream. It seems really immature,” says Justin Pearson. "We’ve screamed as loud as we can and as hard as we can, and there’s really no need to do that. We can still be as artistic and abstract and evil and political without screaming full-throttle.” As the bassist and vocalist of San Diego’s technical grind-punks the Locust, Pearson has helped push screaming to new hardcore heights. While the band’s latest, New Erections, features the same high-intensity blasts of frenetic, technical noise they’ve been known for since their inception over ten years ago, it also makes some serious sonic detours.

"We’re not interested in writing the same record again. So we wrote a different record,” Pearson says. "We said ‘Let’s slow this down and play it longer and let it develop.’ Before, everything was so dense — part-part-part-part-part-stop.” The blast-beat opening of the record’s first track, "AOTKPTA” still sounds like vintage Locust, an uncontrollable burst of sound led by guitar and keyboard that plays like a Big Black b-side played at quadruple speed. Suddenly, the song quickly makes a sharp turn into slow, doom-y atmospherics that Pearson says are "virtually non-existent in our music.” The creative shift from non-stop aural abuse to something more dynamic arose out of necessity more than anything.

"We really didn’t feel we could play our new material live yet,” says Pearson. Heading out on tour but looking to expand their existing material, the band took a unique approach. "We ended up writing pieces between our songs and making one long forty-five minute set.” Coming away from tour with a newfound interest in atmospherics and unique vocal approaches, the Locust’s New Erections is the logical conclusion of the band’s evolution. And as Person points out, "It’s nice to have a few moments where you’re not being slaughtered by blast beats.”