Review Summary: Super epic post hardcore for fans of Tera Melos, The Blood Brothers, and stringed instruments.
Today September 13th 2009 is the first official weekend for the NFL but instead of reshuffling my fantasy football teams, painting my body blue/teal/silver/ and going to Publix for pre game food, I’m sitting in my comfortable leather chair writing up a music review. What band could possibly be so important that I couldn’t wait until Monday to write about? That band is Loom, a young post-hardcore outfit that just released a stunner of an album in 2009 with Selva Molhada. I don’t know what that means but if this album is any indication, these guys and gal should blow up pretty soon considering the demand for bands like Tera Melos, The Blood Brothers, and The Fall Of Troy. Like the aforementioned bands, Loom blend spastic mid paced aggression with engaging melodic passages and irregular time signatures. But to declare them a clone is unjust for they remarkably fuse indie, proggy math rock, post-punk, melodic hardcore and a slight trace of avant garde into a sound of their own. For a debut player the musicianship and songwriting abilities presented on Selva Molhada are quite impressive despite their relative youth to the music scene.
Ten songs and forty two minutes of material doesn’t seem like much of a pilgrimage but Loom string together a wide variety of sounds while perfectly balancing aggression with melody. Starting with front man Mike Kundick’s passionate good cop/bad cop vocal delivery. At one minute he’s spazzing out like a Horse who drank too much Red Bull, then at the next he’s crooning like an alt rocker. His raspy screaming sounds pretty great, especially during the more unorthodox and brutal moments. But he proves to also be a proficient singer as well. This kind of fluidity is not often found within this style of music but Mike composes himself like Million Dollar Baby. Especially when the band’s violin player (yes, a violin player) Kim Pack is raging across the backdrop with her stringed instrument. Some might look at the inclusion of a full time violin player to be gimmicky or overtly pretentious but I assure you, the violin produces a sound dynamic that succeeds far more often than not in Selva Molhada.
So far it appears that Loom has more food on their plate then they can actually finish. Well, they’re just stepping out for a minute before returning to clean up the buffet. Guitar wise, Loom offers up a primarily post-hardcore themed approach. Plenty of galloping riffs, off kilter stop-start rhythms, and guitar noodling to be found here. Mike Kundick is a great guitarist, always keeping things memorable and technically sound at the same time. The effectiveness of these tried and true arrangements are only magnified tenfold by Kim Pack’s musical prowess as a violinist. Succeeding by layering the already ambitious musical framework, one cant help but feel how epic the music sounds with a violin.
The offensive line (guitar, vocals, violin) have proven themselves to be a constructive force. So, how does the defensive line (bass, drums) fare compared to the O-line? Quite well I’d say. There is plenty of variety in the drumming department in terms of speed and creativity. A few jittering bursts of doublebass here, some slower paced stop star fills over there. Consistency is shown through the drumming patterns and I respect that. The same thing can be pretty much said about the bass guitar. Dependable, orderly, and providing a real nice low end. That’s all that really needs to be said about John Finnegan’s performance.
Coming from a guy who doesn’t really listen to much post-hardcore no matter what his piechart says, I was pleasantly surprised by Selva Molhada. A band I didn’t know about just a few days ago, randomly comes out swinging for the fences and puts me into a rear naked choke. Almost like it was premeditated or something. Regardless, I can safely say that Selva Molhald is my favorite post-hardcore record of 2009. And most people on sputnik will probably enjoy this almost or just as much as I do…..