Looming
Seed


3.0
good

Review

by Divaman USER (157 Reviews)
October 11th, 2017 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Looming (v.): Appearing as a shadowy form, especially one that is large or threatening.

When we're talking about the band Looming, let's start with the elephant in the room -- Jessica Knight's voice. For better or for worse, if you listen to this band for even one song, this is going to be the one thing that immediately jumps out at you. Some people like it, and love the band because of it. Others can't stand it. I've seen people for whom I've played Looming's music recoil immediately after just a few notes. And I understand why. There really isn't any other voice that I've heard to compare it to, with the possible exception of the cruelly reviled teen YouTube star Rebecca Black. Picture if you will an alternative pop band fronted by an extremely dramatic version of Popeye's Olive Oyl. That's what you're working with here.

I know that it sounds like I'm making fun of Knight, but I'm not. For whatever reason, I like her voice. It's distinctive. It's passionate. And for the music that this band creates, for me, at least, it just works. But it's a voice that will divide potential fans, because it's definitely the most striking thing about Looming's music.

Now that we've established that, let's move on to the band's new album Seed. This is the second full-length release by this Springfield, Illinois, quintet, following upon their 2015 LP, Nailbiter. It's probably a more mature offering overall, although there's no single track on here that matches the power of the opening track (after the intro) from their debut, "Cotton Tongue". The pleasures on Seed are more subtle, and maybe ultimately a little more memorable.

There's something dark about the music on Seed, something a little grim and foreboding. This isn't in any way, shape or form a collection of happy little love songs. The music is basically medium-to-fast paced, and guitar-driven. Some of the songs are constructed of quickly-played acoustic strums, others from chunky electric guitar riffs. And the band makes interesting use of occasional male secondary vocals that are layered into the back of the mix, all of which serve to push that voice, that strange, breathless, wonderful voice of Knight's to the forefront.

My favorite track here is a slow, insidious number called "Smoke". While "Cotton Tongue" just reached out and grabbed you by the nutsack, this one slides inside of you like tentacles slithering their way into your orifices and working their way up your insides to collectively stab you in the brain. You won't even notice it until it's got its prickly little hooks stuck in your cerebellum. The song has something to do with metaphorically building and abandoning houses. I don't know what the hell it means. But it's kind of sinister, and I like it.

In fact, I can say that about a lot of the album. There are interesting little images, phrases and ideas sprinkled throughout the lyrics of the various tracks which enhance the listening experience -- phrases like "You watch your hands, I'll watch my mouth" in "Queen" (or maybe she's saying "wash", which is even more interesting); or "When you build a house of any kind/You touch all the walls, by and by" from "Smoke"; or the despairing, repeated cries of "For lack of a nail! For lack of a nail!" by the backing singer in Knight's tale of a failed relationship, "Lace". Much of "Tried and True" concerns Knight "begging" her friends to love her, while "Leaves" finds her looking to get back to a place with some nature in it -- "I'm running through the city, but I want to go home right now ... I'm feeling kind of shitty and I want to go home right now." And of course, all of these thoughts, pictures and concepts are coming at you through the vehicle of that voice.

Is Seed an album that I'll still be listening to twenty years from now" I don't know. Maybe. It's not a perfect album -- I have a feeling this band might still have their best work ahead of them. But there's something interesting about it that I just can't get out of head. Not without those pincers tearing up my brain meat, anyway. And even then ... I suspect I'll still be haunted ... by that voice!



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.2
good


Comments:Add a Comment 
Divaman
October 11th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Damn! The site let "nutsack" go, but it censored "shitty". Bogus.

Digging: Barrie - Happy To Be Here

Divaman
October 11th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Btw, in researching this review, I noticed that the much-maligned Ms. Black just put out a new EP about three weeks ago. I don't know about you guys, but I'm going for it.

Divaman
October 11th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks to Jom for uncensoring "shitty". Guess the site's censorship functions were set in a more genteel time than our own.

Jethro42
October 11th 2017


15947 Comments


haha, nutsack sounds funny for a francophone like me. In French, it's ''couille'', or ''noix'' for ''nut'' (sac de noix). It's not really vulgar I think. Not in the context of your sentence anyway.

It's good that you warn us about the vocals. I'm not sure about them, mostly for all an album long, phew...

Good job, Diva. Review deserves a feature.

ZippaThaRippa
October 11th 2017


10514 Comments


Sick fucking cover

JesperL
October 12th 2017


437 Comments


nice review. didn't manage to make it through one song myself though, can't stand those vocals lol

Divaman
October 12th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Heh heh. Well, thanks for trying.

verdant
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2017


2418 Comments


nice little review diva! disappointed with this after one listen considering how much i loved nailbiter but i shall keep trying : )

Divaman
October 12th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Give it a few listens, Jack. It doesn't jump out at you as quickly as Nailbiter (at least it didn't for me), but it has its pleasures.

Ashen
October 12th 2017


1470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jessica Knight has a fine voice. I adore this album

Lord(e)Po)))ts
October 13th 2017


43867 Comments


rebecca black in the similar bands section... looks promising

Digging: Louis Cole - Time

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
October 13th 2017


24912 Comments


damn is this a step back? liked their previous effort a fair bit

Ashen
October 13th 2017


1470 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It's not a stretch to say Nailbiter is better. A 3.5 for this is a tad generous, but I really enjoy the mood here.

DoofusWainwright
October 14th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Great review Diva, the vocals do get irritating taken across a whole album

Divaman
October 14th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's a tough call. I like Seed just a little better than Nailbiter, but it's close for me.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2017


16666 Comments


why aren't you contrib

Divaman
October 15th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'll apply in February, or whenever they open it up again. I appreciate the question, though.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2017


11725 Comments


Sick fucking cover [2]

Swell review man, nice writing. "following upon their" super nitpicky but this should "up on"



Digging: Stahlmann - Bastard

Divaman
October 15th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Hi Scuro. Thanks, I appreciate it. I double checked your suggestion, but either one ("following upon" or "following up on") are correct, so I'm going to keep it as is. (They both kind of mean similar things, but I think there's a subtle difference -- the first just talks about a time relationship (it's like "coming directly afterwards"), while the second, I think, implies a little more -- it's a "follow-up", sort of like a sequel. (As in, for Spielberg, "E.T." followed upon his previous film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark", but for Lucas, "The Empire Strikes Back" was a follow up to the original "Star Wars").

Divaman
October 18th 2017


4014 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Wow, interestingly enough, I just heard the new Rebecca Black album, and her voice doesn't sound so weird anymore. So I guess Ms. Knight is on her own.



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