Justin Pearson (The Locust, Deaf Club, Dead Cross) discusses his favorite albums & live shows of 2022
Justin Pearson has had a very busy year, which has included the release of the new Dead Cross album, Dead Cross II, two Deaf Club releases (the Productive Disruption LP and the Bad Songs Forever EP), multiple episodes of his Cult & Culture podcast with his Planet B partner Luke Henshaw, and more. With the year coming to a close, Justin made us a list of his favorite music of 2022, including both albums and live shows, and he also gave a shoutout to the film Glorious (which includes music by Deaf Club) and a meditation app. His picks include the Danny Elfman remix album that The Locust did a remix for, and which Justin says will be The Locust's last piece of recorded music due to the passing of Gabe Serbian. He also chose a couple records that came out on his label Three One G Records, the new album by ADULT. (who recently appeared on Justin's podcast), and more. He had plenty of interesting stuff to say about each pick, and you can head below to check out his full list with commentary...
JUSTIN PEARSON'S FAVORITE MUSIC & MORE OF 2022
Fuck Money - Self titled EP
This band is everything I look for in music. Not only do I love the art they create, but the humans who make it were and are instantly people I consider to be family. They are the kind of band that rips hard and makes you want to be better at what you do in life.
Converge - Live performance at Mohawk /Oblivion Fest on May 15th in Austin, TX
I’ve known and seen Converge a lot in my life. But seeing them recently in 2022 was easily the best I had ever seen them perform. It’s inspiring to see a band who has been around for over three decades be the best that they have been now, and says an awful lot. Total progressive ripping hardcore is rare in this world.
This is an odd pick for me. Sorry if this is lame for me to have on my list, but this movie was really good, very original, and Deaf Club has one of the two or three songs in the film, which is so awesome in my opinion. It was an honor and privilege to get to take part and to work with Rebekah McKendry.
Stockholm Syndrome - Death Watch LP
One of the members of Stockholm Syndrome sent me the LP and it blew me away. Traditional hardcore in the vein of bands like Man Lifting Banner or Chain of Strength, which I also love. I hope to see them live in due time.
Danny Elfman - Bigger. Messier. LP / Live at the Hollywood Bowl on Oct. 28th in Hollywood, CA
This pick is fairly loaded. I’ve loved Danny’s work since I was a child. The Locust was asked to do a remix for his album, Bigger. Messier., which was the last recorded thing that The Locust will have done due to the passing away of Gabe Serbian. So aside from it having a fully stacked track listing of remixers and collaborators, it holds a specific place in my heart. The remix led me to the possibility of performing a hybrid version of the track “Cruel Compensation” with Danny and his awesome band at the Hollywood Bowl. The track was eventually cut from the set list, so I didn’t get to perform with them, but their performance was nothing short of amazing. And just going to rehearsals and working on the live version with the band was amazing.
Chrome Jackson - Live performance at the Middle East Club on Aug. 4th. In Boston, MA
I’ve known Chrome Jackson, AKA Stephen Mattos for quite a long time now, starting back when The Locust and Arab On Radar fell in love with each other. I always knew that AOR had a few geniuses in the band, but seeing the live performance of Chrome Jackson reminded me that Stephen is next level genius. Ever see a musical performance that captivates you to where you have a giant smile from start to finish? If not, you need to see this shit live! It’s insane.
Listen to Chrome Jackson on Bandcamp.
Insight Timer (meditation app)
I’m still trying to fully wrap my head around this app that my friend Heather Fenwick tipped me off to. Some of it is a bit too woo-woo for me, and I’m not one for mantras. However, the meditation assistance, sleep timers, and breathing techniques are often interesting. The first time I ripped into this app was on tour with Deaf Club, where Tommy Meehan and I passed out in the van somewhere in Tucson, AZ as it rained. I know this list is supposed to be musical picks, but I think the ambient sounds it offers are certainly musical. Also silence and meditation are key in appreciating music, and especially abrasive and absurd music, like I usually create.
Check it out at insighttimer.com.
ADULT. - Becoming Undone LP
I completely fell in love with ADULT. when they were on a recent episode of my podcast, Cult and Culture. Adam and Nicola are brilliant human beings and so inspiring. Then there is their music, which for me, has ties to some of the more informative musical elements of my youth, and yet it’s played with a modern and relevant attitude. I appreciate how they are punks, in the truest sense, and can’t be pigeonholed in a musical box. Each album of theirs takes a step up from the previous, and they do it with righteousness. They are one of my favorite current bands.
Kent Osbourne - Live at Genghis Cohen Feb. 23rd in Los Angeles, CA
Seeing Kent perform live was a pleasant surprise. I was aware of his work, and had heard a few tracks online, and really dug it. However seeing him perform live with an MC and drummer was hands down the most badass thing I had seen in a long time. The sheer power and energy from the live set was unparalleled to most live acts, especially in hip hop, if one wants to short change him and toss him in that genre. The dude is in his very own league.
Haunted Horses - The Worst Has Finally Happened LP
Seeing Haunted Horses live recently before the band’s latest LP was released was such a pleasant surprise. I already really dug the band, but then they stepped it up and added a bass guitar to the band, which just makes things so awesome. The nasty grit and drive that the bass added to the band’s music was exactly what I love in a band like this. And with that being said, the unconventional instrumentation and sonic output that is Haunted Horses gives me hope for the future of music. Everyone should take cues from this band, but do not rip them off! Just take cues.