By Lane Oliver
For about seven years, California’s Loma Prieta has been out of the limelight. But with I.V., I wouldn’t be surprised if a plethora of attention comes their way this year. Heavier and nosier than previous releases, I.V. is probably the finest work by the band to date.
Loma Prieta’s music is deep rooted in screamo with extreme hardcore overtones. I.V is relentless sonic assault that is almost claustrophobic in a way. The album provides very little breathing room and you are hit with track after track of brutality. The music is so pain stricken and angry that you can actually feel the emotions the songs display. What adds to this intensity is the fact that the production is so raw. It’s almost like a big “fuck you” to all the over polished albums out now. The album opens with “Fly by Night” which justifies all I just said. It opens right out the gate with these monstrous riffs that are saturated in so much distortion that almost makes the song sound very chaotic. “Torn Portrait” also exhibits this chaotic quality. It between the audible hardcore slamming riffs, it sounds as if the guitarist is just banging the life out his weapon in order to create these hectic, noisy sounds as if they personify the anger and pain he feels. I would also like mention that without the vocalist, this band would not sound as destructive as they do. He sounds like he is in so much excruciating pain when he screams and I often wonder if he gargles with haberno sauce before recording. His abrasive, shrill vocal style makes this listening experience all the more intense. But underneath these walls of sound are gorgeous sounding melodies. The band is not all slam, bam, thank you ma’am. No, these guys also like to wine and dine you as well. As evidence by the closing of “Fly by Night” in which these triumphant sounding, harmonious chords play beneath the thick cloud of distortion. “Biography” also displays some beautiful cleanly played sections that offset the beastly force of this band. I.V is earth shattering yet moving at the same time.
After the twenty-four minute duration is up however, I feel something missing. The band plays their unique style of hardcore well but I felt it needed a little more variation between songs. There were some unexpected melodies here and there but after awhile it became predictable. I would have liked to be surprised a little more.
In conclusion, Loma Prieta will bombard you with chaotic yet melodic screamo/hardcore hybrid force that will leave you wanting more. I felt it was lacking some variance but it is stellar for what it is. No one else right now sounds like these guys and they should take that in stride. Go check out I.V. now.
Label: Deathwish Inc
Release Date: January 17th, 2012
Favorite Tracks: “Fly By Night”, “Reproductive”, “Diamond Tooth”, “Biography”
For Fans Of: Orchid, Pg. 99, Touche Amore