Loma Prieta
Self Portrait


3.5
great

Review

by VheissuCrisis EMERITUS
October 8th, 2015 | 63 replies


Release Date: 10/02/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Loma Prieta paint a portrait of their present.

Above all else, Loma Prieta’s music has always been honest. While it’s an important foundation for any artist in any genre to build their music on, it’s especially true of emotional hardcore. In Loma Prieta’s particularly potent case, it’s absolutely vital. Their last album I.V. was an almost cripplingly dense and violent display of emotion, where every ounce of aggression and unease was palpably poured into the standout trilogy and the songs surrounding it. It was a cathartic experience, and it felt as though they had lifted a weight off their shoulders by fully embracing and utilising the pain they had been harbouring inside. With that in mind, there would have been little point in retreading the same ground as I.V. if the band member’s emotions no longer matched up to the level of anger required to produce such a record. By their own admission, there is more clarity in each member’s life than ever before, and it’s enabled them to expand both musically and thematically. It’s evident from the word go; Self Portrait is more contemplative and experimental than its predecessor.

With the benefit of hindsight, “Love” wasn’t such a surprising choice to drop on us unsuspecting listeners. It acts as the album’s slow burning opener, and it immediately thrusts us into unknown territory. Unlike past efforts which have almost always developed into full frontal assaults, “Love” takes its time and only gives itself to you piece by piece. The rippling arpeggios are in no hurry to give way to the usual volleys of guitars, and along with the restrained harsh vocals they evolve slowly and methodically instead. The song reaches boiling point as you’d expect but it never fully spills over the rim, instead managing to reign itself back just in time to make way for the next song. It’s a tactic which is used more than ever before in Loma Prieta’s career and despite being a departure from the violence of releases past, you’d be wrong to say that the intensity has disappeared along with it. Both strikingly different and more melodic than anything we’ve heard before, “Roadside Cross” and “More Perfect” follow the lead set by the opener and continue to demonstrate their evolution. On the former, major chords soar out the darkness to catch you off guard on first listen, and reward you more than you’d initially expect on each returning visit. What’s more, the chanting along with the restrained outro on “More Perfect” adds even more variety than we’re used to hearing.

Self Portrait is undeniably a welcome addition to Loma Prieta’s discography, but it doesn’t rank among their finest. It’s difficult to scrutinise and dissect exactly what is missing from the band’s fifth effort, but as is often the case for highly emotive music it comes down to a simple overarching feeling that something is either there or it’s not. That isn’t to say that Self Portrait is devoid of emotion or isn’t stirring; far from it, it just affects you in fits and starts rather than holistically like on previous records like I.V. and Last City. Despite this, Loma Prieta’s latest effort demonstrates both their quality and their almost frightening consistency, and cements them as heavyweights among their peers.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 8th 2015


1368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just a quick write up to give this a bit more exposure, surprised more of Sput hasn't picked up on it yet.

Artuma
October 8th 2015


29124 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great write-up even though it feels kinda rushed. album rules, definitely something i didn't expect from these guys

StarlessCore
October 8th 2015


5455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

lil bit better than a 3.5 for me especially by sputnik standards but good write up.



this needs more attention, more love, trending at 8 aint enough justice

Digging: Potence - L'Amour Au Temps De La Peste

VheissuCrisis
Emeritus
October 8th 2015


1368 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cheers, and you're not totally wrong Art, I've been swamped lately. Feel like my rating will probably grow for this.

adr
October 8th 2015


11797 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"sputnik standards"



lol

demigod!
October 8th 2015


49231 Comments


gotta get it nice rev

Digging: NoMeansNo - Wrong

StarlessCore
October 8th 2015


5455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

cuz sput standards r every good album is a 4.5

torts
October 8th 2015


4300 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

not feeling it



DanielNightLewis
October 8th 2015


1028 Comments


I really like these guys on record but I've played with them a couple of times and they seem so over being in a band. Possibly one of the least charismatic bands I have ever seen!

I think this one is a grower, but at least you can hear the songs more clearly than on IV.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
October 8th 2015


3899 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wasn't sure if I liked this at all when I first heard it, but now I adore it. Once you start picking up on the subtleties through all the fuzz and distortion, there's just so much creativity at work.

Digging: Julien Baker - Turn Out The Lights

jesterhead92
October 8th 2015


3468 Comments


I think it's their best, or at least equal with I.V..

JamieCTA
October 9th 2015


271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this is a really solid record but just not super memorable for me, if that makes sense. I still enjoy it and appreciate the direction they took.

TomAkaVeto
October 9th 2015


1936 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think IV is probably their best, but I really enjoy this album a lot and I'm glad they tried something different.

StarlessCore
October 9th 2015


5455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

totally agree

StarlessCore
October 10th 2015


5455 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

this gets better with every listen



first half and satellite r perfect

Ashen
October 10th 2015


1397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

snox and art like this... hm... might check

ftinside
October 11th 2015


420 Comments


does this beat anything from the trilogy? or 4 even for that matter?

otherwise i'll pass

ftinside
October 11th 2015


420 Comments


maybe you shouldn't have bothered to respond since you clearly know very little about LP, but ok, thanks for your insight!

ftinside
October 11th 2015


420 Comments


: |

dimsim3478
October 11th 2015


7699 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

he is obviously talking about their last album when he says "4"; it was a little confusing since he did mention the trilogy just before saying that so the initial thought is that he's talking about trilogy part 4 but that doesn't make sense of course.



seriously though there's more to Loma's discog than Trilogy and I.V.



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