Published Sep 30, 2015With Self Portrait, Loma Prieta have crafted a work that masterfully blends moments of sombre gloom with unbridled energy, resulting in a richly textured and well-paced piece. Drawing from genre staples like Envy and Pg.99, Loma Prieta employ searing, calculated discord to varying extents in each song on the record. They are at their most violent on "Black Square," a whirlwind of feedback and screeching guitars in which multiple layers of Sean Leary's half-screams add a distorted, otherworldly touch to the already cacophonic blast.
The careful attention to detail in each song's structure is one of this album's strongest points. Opening track "Love" crescendos from a slow, melodic trudge into a driving pace that is particularly memorable, and "More Perfect" dips into moments of chaos between beautiful harmonics and upbeat verses, creating unexpected but seamlessly executed moments of contrast. Album closer "Satellite" is the most optimistic song on the record, which features a bouncing bass line and floating guitar leads over subdued vocals at the beginning before expanding and building to a stunning, climactic ending.
With this record, Loma Prieta have taken a significant step forward and developed a more complex and powerful sound. (Deathwish Inc.)