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The Locust

Plague Soundscapes (Anti/Epitaph)

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Heavy-metal satanists, gangsta rappers, and childhood-damaged aggro-rockers only wish they could create the destructive racket San Diego screamo machine the Locust makes on Plague Soundscapes. With the subtlety of a sledgehammer, the quartet speeds through 23 blasts of incoherence -- bearing titles such as "Anything Jesus Does, I Can Do Better" and "The Half-Eaten Sausage Would Like to See You in His Office" -- in just over 20 minutes. Atonal keyboards and finger-bleeding riffs uncoil behind vocalist Justin Pearson, who slobbers and howls like the Cookie Monster's bad-seed brother. To the uninitiated, Plague sounds suspiciously like a splattering mess of noise. Yet dissecting its chaos reveals a coherent amalgamation of influences -- crushing hardcore acceleration, bits of metal-god fret-jumping, and Atari Teenage Riot-style electro-digital punishment. Forget the Bible's dire testimony: This Locust infestation is a gift from headbanger heaven.

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