Loma Prieta is the name of a mountain in one of California’s northern ranges, the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is also the name of a hardcore band that’s been a Bay Area fixture since forming back in 2005. Translated loosely from Spanish, Loma Prieta means “dark hill,” which is a pretty spectacular name for a hardcore band in either language. Since the lyrics are delivered in a full-fledged scream, I think it’s safe to call this screamo, but the melodies are so lush and vibrant that ignoring the music in favor of the vocals would be foolish. The band’s newest album, Self Portrait, was produced by Jack Shirley, who also produced Deafheaven’s Sunbather, and who is particularly adept at stretching and reshaping the boundaries of what people expect from music this intense. “Love” is the first single off the record, and it’s full of rage, uncontrollable emotion, and huge beautiful swathes of guitar against furious drums. It’s backed with a song called “Trilogy 0 (Debris)” that won’t be on the album, but alternates the screaming with buried, quieter vocals and careening guitar fuzz. Listening to it feels like driving a car on the edge of a cliff, veering toward the edge, and turning away again at the last second. Suddenly, I get why their label is called Deathwish. This is melodic anger; what’s not to love about that? Listen below.
Here’s the Self Portrait tracklist:
02 “Black Square”
03 “Roadside Cross”
04 “Net Gain”
05 “More Perfect”
07 “Never Remember”
Self Portrait is out 10/2 via Deathwish. Pre-order it here.