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| 29 August 2015 | Reply


Label: No Sleep Records

Release Date: August 14, 2015

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Mike Hubbard

My musical tastes tend to be fairly eclectic, but indie is a genre that you generally won’t find in my music catalog.  Given that, I was surprised with how captivated I was when I first listened to Nailbiter, the debut full length from Springfield, IL’s Looming.  Then again, Looming is not a ‘typical’ indie band.  Nailbiter dropped on August 14 on No Sleep Records, and is definitely worth a listen, even if indie generally isn’t your thing.

Looming has taken the central-Illinois music scene by storm since their formation in 2013 and appear to be on the cusp of breaking out.  The band is made up of Jessica Knight on bass and vocals, Brandon Carnes on drums, and guitarists Jordan Fein and Mitch Baker.  When describing Nailbiter, drummer Carnes said “Lyrically, the songs are super personal. We wanted this album to be an honest reflection of the real-life situations that inspired all the songs.”  The disc opens with an instrumental track appropriately titled “Intro” and segues into one of my favorites, “Cotton Tongue”.  From the first words sung by Knight I was captured by her unique sound and delivery.  I feel that the fact that she plays bass as well as sings really contributes to overall effect of her performance.  The bounce in the bass line is reflected in her vocals, or maybe it’s the other way around. “Cotton Tongue” has a drive to it, giving it a bit of a punk element while still maintaining the chill indie vibe that is prevalent throughout the album.  The third track is “Onward”, which has more of an indie alt-rock feel.  The indie chill gets turned up for the next two tracks, “Strive” and “Linear Lies”.  The sixth song is “Output”, which is a bit edgier, with driving instrumentals on the chorus, but still with the unique Looming sound/feel.  “Eat” returns more to the style of “Strive”.  “New Eyes” is another standout track.  It is a prime example of the ‘personal’ attribute of the album that Carnes described.  Knight croons “I’m trying to see the world with new eyes”, with an emo feel.  The pace picks up with the ninth track “Brother”, featuring multiple layers of vocals with a poppy upbeat bounce.  The disc closes with “Impermanence”, an alt-rock bow on the package that is Nailbiter.

Overall, Nailbiter is very introspective, almost melancholy feel, with catchy hooks that hold your attention through all 10 tracks, 29 minutes.  Looming presents to us a look into their souls in a way that will have you listening to it on repeat.  I really look forward to seeing where this talented quartet go from here.

Tracklisting: Intro – Cotton Tongue – Onwawd – Strive – Linear Lies – Output – Eat – New Eyes – Brother – Impermanence – Nailbiter




Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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