Looming - Nailbiter (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Nailbiter (2015)

No Sleep

Springfield, Illinois rockers Looming is a band to keep tabs on. Lead singer, Jessica Knight, has a unique style that gives the band a power that to me fits right up there with bands like Hop Along, RVIVR and War On Women. Their style is tempered to a much more accessible, indie, '90s rocker vibe but what makes Nailbiter stand out is that it feels different from like-minded music-makers out there. The album's main theme, as seen on the track titles, are about moving on, progression (especially from bad relationships) and positive change, which adds a bit more value, personally. It's a very altruistic and endearing record that stands above its peers.

This is nicely summed up on "New Eyes" - a shimmery piece of indie magic that's very introspective and addresses your outlook on the world. "New Eyes was the first song that I wrote by myself as a whole so I think it stands out from the other songs a little bit. It is a bittersweet anthem about moving on and growing even if it’s hard. It’s about positive change being devastating but necessary because I wrote it during my transition out of a relationship with someone who I respect and care about. It serves as a sort of unapologetic explanation and a driving force for how I want to continue to live my life," explained Knight which definitely translates well for fans who dug Frances Quinlan on Painted Shut this year. It's very Hop Along-ish. This makes the earlier songs like "Cotton Tongue" and "Onward" sting even more. Looming speak about life as bittersweet but it's Knight's varying vocals, the swelling basslines and big hooks that all combine with such a melodic ease. Punk, indie and grunge all collide on these couple tracks and you'd think there'd be some disjoint there but honestly, the flow's so good.

"Output" is another alternative rock gem which kickstarts a shift in the album as it down-gears its tempo and slows down to the end. Case in point, "Impermanence" which hints that the earlier, angrier parts of the record are all about Knight finding that catharsis towards the end. Kudos for Looming's honest, inspirational and real-life lyrics which are made even better by the few moments of gang/mixed-vocals. This interplay really feels like they're conversing with each other from different POVs and adds a neat spin on their more aggressive indie style. If it's one thing I can say is that this record lived up to expectation. The great songs are really worth the pickup and totally have you neglecting the filler moments on Nailbiter.