The Locust didn’t seem like it would have the longest life of any skewed hardcore band out there. In part, that was apparent from the group’s schtick—an ensemble dressed up in matching custom-made costumes that make each musician look like a threatening mutant fly can only last for so long. But the music SoCal punk impresario Justin Pearson helped usher in through his time in Swing Kids, then the Locust and now Retox only becomes less tenable through each reinvention. It’s not that hardcore, meted out in the most bizarre time signatures, can get tired. But Pearson has staked his career on a quicksilver aptitude; he has allowed for the formation of new groups, recorded a handful of two-minute songs and hit the road. Trying to nail down exactly what Retox does, though, is pretty meaningless. Each song on its Ipecac Records-released “Ugly Animals” from last year is composed of thrashy revelry, successive breakdowns and enough throat-shredding proclaiming to make any fan of aggressive musics feel like there’s some sort of renaissance just around the corner. A handful of surfy guitar statements even make their way into “Thirty Cents Shy of a Quarter.” Since the band’s disc is already elderly by current industry standards, missing the upcoming Retox show could mean missing the band completely. Pearson’s desire to continue on with a single ensemble isn’t any more lengthy than the compositions his bands usually work with. And nothing on “Ugly Animals” is longer than two minutes and fifteen seconds. Locks, Millions and Spanyurd open. (Dave Cantor)
June 24 at Township, 2200-2202 North California, (773)384-1865, 6pm. $7. All ages.
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