January 17, 2012 - Deathwish Inc.
Loma Prieta share members with other Bay Area hardcore mainstays such as Punch and Beau Navire, and much like those bands they’re pushing the boundaries of what hardcore can truly be (read: it can be much more than a few lines of tough-guy bullshit surrounded by aimless breakdowns). On I.V., the group showcase a knack for integrating aggression and melody into a package that doesn’t even come close to resembling, say, a by-the-numbers post-hardcore anthem—the manner in which opener “Fly By Night” morphs from completely spastic to utterly cathartic in its final moments is perhaps the best example. “Biography” evokes a similar emotion through different means, primarily twinkling guitars atop mountainous drums and desperate, nearly unintelligible screams. That formula-that-isn’t-really-formulaic sets up most of I.V.’s best moments, including the frenetic “Uniform” as well as the three-song “Trilogy” suite, the latter of which (“Trilogy 6: Forgetting”) devolves into a distorted, devastatingly heavy skull-shatterer by its climax.