Release Date: 16/1/2012
San Francisco screamo supergroup put the urgency back into their genre with relentless fury and melody
There is a mighty dearth of "proper screamo" going on in said scene today. Respective members of Glassjaw, Norma Jean and Converge may well have lost many nights' sleep after seeing the whining, gutless conformatism that their beloved scene has reduced itself to. San Francisco quartet Loma Prieta have plenty of experience of the modern screamo scene, having spent years in bands like Punch and Archeotypx. Thankfully, however, they also seem more inclined to the more urgent and exciting roots of the genre.
Their fourth album, imaginatively titled "I.V.", is an absolutely barn storming and abrasive old- school screamo terror- fest of both intensity and, in places, startleing beauty. It gets most nail- bitingly destructive on the "Trilogy" series that sits in the middle of the record. There's no sense of melody in this pummeling dark cloud of chaos, especially not at the trilogy's climax on "6: Forgetting". Its sludgy, apocalyptic down- beat trajectory becomes more and more unlistenable as it goes on, drowning itself in ugly production fuzz and crackle.
At the prettier end of things, "Uniform" feels like the end of the world with its wall of crushingly heavy guitar chords, but they're so epic that even Mogwai would be proud to have written them. Closer "Biography" is the most bright- eyed moment here with an almost transcendental, clear- cut lead guitar riff.
The worst thing about "I.V." is that it will almost certainly be overlooked by most. Those who don't listen to screamo probably won't even know of its existence, and those who do may well overlook it in favour of the latest Devil Wears Prada output. Nevertheless, let us lucky few who have stumbled across it be continually thrilled.
Key Tracks: "Biography," "Trilogy 5: Half- Cross", "Uniform"