VIENNA, Va., April, 19, 2012 — Loma Prieta is an intense band. When they opened their set at DC9, it was a barrage of blistering chugging riffs and screaming. Every song is a relatively short burst of energy, designed to bludgeon the audience quickly before quickly moving on to the next target.
The quartet hails from San Francisco, California and has been in the hardcore scene for several years. The area in the last several years has been a fertile ground for more aggressive acts in the hardcore and metal scenes and the various sub genres in between. Loma Prieta holds up to that standard with their live show.
The name Loma Prieta may seem like an odd name for a hard core band, more suited for soft/folk rock band along the lines of the Eagles. Still there are several aspects of the name that not only play into the band’s sound but also their live set.
Loma Prieta is the highest peak in the Santa Cruz Mountains about an hour and a half away from San Francisco. The name in Spanish means “Dark Hill.” The mountain is best known as the epicenter of the more famous earthquakes in the last 30 years called “the Loma Prieta earthquake,” which halted the 1989 World Series. Whether it was the band’s intention to mimic these issues or not by naming themselves Loma Prieta, these elements echo how the band performs during its live performance.
Despite the laid back sound of the name, interpretations have an aggressive and sinister underpinning to them that suits the band perfectly. There’s an ear splitting darkness to Loma Prieta which surrounds each succinct song. The songs are subtly technical but don’t build so much as each song build on the nihilistic outlook of the set as a whole.
The easiest way to describe Loma Prieta’s sound is to say they straddle the line between hardcore and grindcore. In fact, this specific show had them opening for grindcore super group, Converge. It’s hard to imagine a better band to pair with the rising Loma Prieta.
One of the biggest obstacles when trying to sell someone on grindcore/hardcore acts is explaining the intricacies of what they are hearing. To average listener, a grindcore band is just going to sound like excessive noise, but to the more trained ear, it’s a good bit more than that. They blister the audience with ever changing progression and never let up for the entirety of their set.
The faster and technical riffing and blast beat of the drums, played in the crowds expectations of Loma Prieta’s bleak outlook and sound, which sounds odd, but this is the kind of crowd that was looking to be pummeled by that band and weren’t let down. The tightly packed crowd ad DC9 felt the intensity of every song as Loma Prieta lived up to the implications of their name.
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