Music News


Locus takes itself out from under the loose, ugly modern-rock umbrella with unexpected instruments — strings and tribal drums, mostly. The band is much better off leaning in that direction. When the players go for straight-up dead lifting with the guitar and testosterone-fueled vocals, as they do on "Vices," they end up in territory that was beaten to death in the '90s. The more they stray from traditional structures, the more interesting they get. The windswept desolation of "Inner Mission" is transporting, and the album's most exciting moments come on, of all things, conga breakdowns. The whole thing is kind of a slog, with song lengths regularly topping the six-minute mark, but then the seemingly endless exposition is what gives the screaming guitar riffs whatever power they still manage.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky