Review Summary: Although its been said plenty of times, it would be foolish not to reiterate: the band's name serves as a great summary to Loop's sound.
From its suggestion of a going-nowhere pathway due to completed curvature, to the repetition of a single process, the word “loop” evokes a form of cognition beyond just plain dictionary definition. Its a very simple word that covers a lot of usage both tangible and conceptual, while also avoiding ambiguity in what it can be applied to. Yet never more aptly referenced is it when slapped onto debut LP Heaven's End
, a spiritual precursor to the shoegaze movement. Perhaps the band were aiming to provide their own catalog of the word through auditory reference" Or more likely, they just figured it parallels what they put to tape considerably well.
So it goes without saying that Heaven's End
is an incredibly repetitious album, each song usually sustaining and refusing to let go of a small sequence of notes for its entirety. Its droning noise screeching from the guitar is firmly rooted in that recognizable late '80s alternative rock sound and walks a similar path to other bands of its time, namely ones credited for opening the door for shoegaze while not fitting the bill to be part of it. However it can be said that this album is one of the very first to be able to be identified as within the genre, of course only in retrospect as 1987 predates any known usage of the term. By being a pretty even balance of noisey alternative rock, space rock and neo-psychedelic, its sort of hard to argue otherwise. It helps that Heaven's End
pushed its way through to the top 5 of the UK indie charts, preparing many to the explosive movement that was about to ensue.
Despite the overuse of the term, Loop truly embrace the idea of musical fuzz. There is an intentional garage rock vibe on the album, most likely aiming to fill small time venues with ear piercing, contraband-inspired noise. The calculated “poor” production emphasizes this feature, coming off as if the amps and recording equipment were found at the bottom of a dumpster. The droning and trance like rhythms are simplistic but very well crafted, and are pulled off with solid consistency. It all adds up to a surprisingly heavy sound considering the genres it falls under; this also happens to be one of its strongest aspects, especially when accounting for the time of its release. Even beyond its semi-historic importance, Heaven's End
is an excellent album, one worth a shot to anyone even remotely interested in fuzz, drone and early alternative rock.