Loma Prieta - I.V.
A lot of times I find it hard to believe that great things come in packages but when I think of bands like Loma Prieta I find myself believing just that. Yet another band to spawn from the Californian scene, Loma Prieta shares members with bands ranging from Punch to Beau Navire. Their recent signing with hardcore heavyweights Deathwish Inc. would lead some, myself included, to believe Loma to be a new, up and coming band, yet a quick search through their history will reveal that they have been a fully functioning until for a while now, steadily releasing material for the past half-decade. Delving into their back catalog, Loma Prieta caused waves with their debut Last City and has been on a systematic path of destruction for three albums, and as you could probably guess by now, their Deathwish debut, I.V.
, is their fourth full length that sees Loma continuing upon that very same destructive path, gaining momentum and speed all the while.
is Loma Prieta’s heaviest album to date. Bar none. Where previous albums went through the motions of exploring the fringe edges of post-hardcore and even emo, I.V.
breaks this mold and is a brute shot of emoviolence for nearly its entire run through. While previous lighter elements can be sniffed out after multiple listens, they are merely tertiary in its influences and ultimately negligible. I mean, just look at the continuation of the “Trilogy” suite that Loma expands upon from their debut. Starting things off with a bang on “Trilogy 4 ‘Momentary’”, the corkscrew drum pattern only descends into nearly uncontrolled chaos the likes of which Ampere can only wish to harness. Yet following the destruction of “4” only serves to prepare the listeners ears for another round of sonic battery with “Trilogy 5 ‘Half Cross’”, which is a minute and a half exploration of how many times the band can approach the mark of making your ears burst before finally giving some respite (although ‘respite’ would is an almost laughable term to describe it) in the form of the fully fleshed out song of “Trilogy 6 ‘Forgetting’”. Taking influences from more common acts like Converge, the three minute Trilogy finisher is a fitting climax for I.V.
before delving into a more streamlined sound in the final four songs (“Untitled” not included).
The production on I.V.
will undoubtedly serve as a stumbling block for many listeners not accustomed to all things screamo or Loma related. Produced by Jack Shirley of Comadre fame (who also produced my 2011 favorite, Roads To Judah), I.V. sounds like it was put through analog tape before being recorded, and the sound of it results in a very treble heavy sonic assault that emphasis’ the vocalist of Loma just as much as the guitar rampage throughout the entire listen. Initially thinking that the mastering was done all the wrong ways, the sound of I.V.
is a developed taste that may or may not attract listeners to the sound that Loma has prepared for their ears. In other words, approach this album with caution, as even the general sound behind the band is enough to draw some away from I.V.