It’s 12 years since LOA’s last album, Broken Valley, and in the intervening time even the band thought that would be a full stop on their story. They’d been in a dark place – singer Mina Caputo has since talked about considering suicide as she struggled with her identity. But after she came out as transgender, the band reconvened, stronger for it, and have returned with a belter.
As ever, the themes are weighty, tackling abuse, selfharm, death, loneliness and empty celebrity culture. But musically they’re punching out of the darkness with gleaming alternative metal anthems packed with soaring, moshpit-baiting choruses, strutting like Stone Temple Pilots and bloodying noses like Helmet thanks to Joey Z’s deeply 90s (and that is totally meant as a compliment) guitar work, part groove-heavy chug, part peacock soloing. Which make the stark gloom of closing piano ballad Little Spots Of You all the more affecting.