Relentlessly creating music on their own terms since 2005, Loma Prieta’s fourth LP, and first for new label Deathwish, is an exploration of the interplay between melody and dissonance. Melodic guitar riffs clash with dark, noisy riffs backed by thundering drums and chugging bass. It’s an emotional rollercoaster ride expressed not only in the band’s music, but in their lyrics as well, which touch on topics both political and deeply personal. I was not crazy about the mixing of the album, which did a bit too good a job of blending the discordant sounds present in Loma Prieta’s music. There’s a uniformity to the sound of the songs on this album that I do not detect in previous efforts from the band. According to the album’s description, I.V. was “written during a time of great personal suffering and transition for the band,” and I think this album is a solid step forward, but I’m not quite as stoked on it as past efforts.

 –Paul J. Comeau (Deathwish, [email protected])