Review Summary: Together or separate...
Together or separate… The first line you hear screamed with passion as the first song off this album “Fly by night” begins. Interesting, seeing as how Loma Prieta merges two different sides of the emotional spectrum so well, never really favoring separation or unity …I could call it seamless and its almost as though there letting you know early on what you in for. Enter Loma Prieta’s 4th album, I.V. This album has an extremely bold sound coming through in not just the emotional tug of war these songs play with you, or even the way there written but the production. This album has a very, very abrasive sound coming off as loud, piercing and ear shattering… in quite a positive way actually. To prove my point, take a look at a song like “ trilogy 6 Forgetting” towards the end of that track, the band puts together a nice chugging riff that, as the song progresses, gets louder and louder and louder until it is just a wall of static and noise. On the track “Trilogy 4 Momentary” blast beats show up giving that song some aggressive, grind like tones and a really nice fiery touch.
But quite possibly the most striking thing about this album is how well all that aggression and anger is balanced and offset. A lot of these tracks have a very strong sense of beauty, happiness, and hopefulness. How ever, Loma Prieta never shows a strong distinction between these sounds and emotions, rather a gradient. This album is never black or white. I.V. does a great job of being absolutely cold and dark while at the same time being humane and warm, and in my opinion, that is what makes this album such a thrill to listen to. Take a track like “Fly by night” (mentioned early in the review). This track starts off with a really grinding, crusty riff with guitar feed back sparkling in all directions and of course some loud, harsh bass tones. But it’s the ending of the track that makes it one of the best on the album. It may start loud and angry ( and don’t get me wrong it ends loud as well) but it progresses into wonderfully beautiful and victorious chords that are really bright, warm and happy, ending the song on a high note. This is without a doubt I.V.’s center piece, the track that, above all else, shows you what this band is all about.
The flow of these tracks is also what really makes these songs “click” if you will. There are twelve tracks on here, and there are 3 tracks towards the middle of the LP in a series of trilogies that make for a really nice middle ground for this album. While there is in no means a “bad song” on here, I fell all these tracks would be just slightly weaker if taken out of the context of the album. Each song is like a chapter, and what’s the point of reading a book if its missing chapters". Of course the sounds and textures, emotions and moods of this album were without a doubt being built up over the course of Loma Prieta’s discography, but its not until now that they all come together so cohesively and so seamlessly. Also, a lot of these lyrics really bring that point home too. Lines like” what’s the point in changing if the world is going to stay the same” really set the tone for this album, a sad, overwhelmed and desperate tone at times but it’s a tone never lacking sincerity or honesty.
This is just a fantastic album, through and through. Warm emotions and cold sounds, abrasive and alienating, but at the same time its bright and willfully hopeful. This album is a force to be reckon with…and as the song “ uniform “ states…Loma Prieta will never die.