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Pithy but Powerful: Lo! and “Locust Christ”

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Nearly every article you’ll find regarding Sydney’s Lo! (with the exclamation point, please) begins with some sort of commentary on their iconic 2015 music video for the song “Orca,” produced by bassist Adrian Shapiro. Pink goop, gas masks, black rubber hazmat suits – it’s so memorable for good reason.

“Orca” put Lo! on the map, but their upcoming full-length album Vestigial will ensure they stay there, as it brings boatloads more punishment for fans of their earlier work. With one track already released — the groovy and riff-heavy “Glutton” — they’re back with another music video. Feast your eyes and ears on the tantalizingly brief yet compelling “Locust Christ.”

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For the “Locust Christ” video, Shapiro returned to the producer’s seat and directed the video as well, with Oscar winners Odd Studio handling the prosthetics. Without giving away any spoilers, the video is an apt complement to the track, which Shapiro described as “unrelenting.”

And unrelenting it is. On “Locust Christ,” Lo! are all business, the track weighing in at a compact 99 seconds and bisected cleanly into two movements. From the first beat, the band throw themselves headlong into the fray at breakneck speed. This hellish tempest is marked by precisely orchestrated melodic runs and rhythmic stutters, and lasts a mere 30 seconds before coming to an abrupt close, as lone guitar chords take hold.

Stark drum fills ring out underneath the droning guitar, before the band transitions into a murky swamp of a sludge groove. Here too the percussion is relentless. Drummer Adrian Griffin hammers out fill after blistering fill, each time returning effortlessly to the overwhelmingly crushing beat maintained by his bandmates. As was with 2015’s The Tongueless, Griffin’s performance is the standout on this track, and his playing is easily appreciated thanks to the massive volume of space allotted him on the album’s mix.

The band dwells in this oozing mire for nearly a full minute before pulling themselves out with a seconds-long blast which propels “Locust Christ” to its starkly powerful conclusion. The song is a tightly composed tasting menu of the many delights that have been prepared in Lo!’s blood-soaked slaughterhouse of a kitchen, and which await listeners when Lo! release Vestigial on October 6th via Pelagic Records.

— Ivan Belcic

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