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Album Review: Loom by Loom

Grunge act Loom released their debut self-titled album on 19th May via Silent Cult Records. Loom formed through a shared distaste, boredom, and frustration with new music. They recorded and released two cassettes within their first year, the latter being a showcase of their most prominent initial influences – a six-track covers ep of The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Pixies, GG Allin, Misfits, and Warsaw. They felt that it was a necessity to broadcast their intent as a band as aggressively and directly as possible.

Loom took a step back from the initial ‘hype’, with frontman Tarik Badwan saying “Labels and journalists were quick to assume we had a certain sound and wanted to have an influence on that.” The band didn’t want to make someone else’s idea of a debut album. That being said, Loom still bears its influences in an obvious and stark nature.

While the band seem to be at pains to stress that they don’t want to be accused of revivalism, it’s impossible to not see it. Imagine the 70s Stooges-esque punk thrust infused with 90s grunge and you’ll have Loom’s sound down to a tee. It’s a solid base and one that they’ve perfected it, so what if it is a bit of revivalism when it’s done so well.

‘Get a Taste’ has the hallmarks of 70s punk and early tracks like ‘Lice’, ‘Hate’ and Leopard’ take on the 90s-grunge sound and executes it with aplomb. Make no bones about it, many of the tracks on Loom sound like they could have been picked up from Nirvana’s b-side collection Incesticide.

While other reviews could use this as a stick to beat the band with, we’ll take it as a positive. It’s a sound that the band are obviously comfortable with and one that they’ve not only perfected but also built upon.

You’ll find Loom at their best when they manage to marry the punk and grunge influences. ‘Salt’ and ‘Nailbender’ take the ferocious immediacy of 70s punk and throw in grunge guitars and wild chaos. It’s on tracks like these and ‘Barbed Wire’ that the album comes into its own and excels in an enthralling blend of riotous speed and crashing guitars. Conversely the punk of ‘Seasick’ and the grunge of ‘Bleed On Me’ also provide excellent listening.

It’s certainly not breaking the mould, but its excelling at what the band do best. Find yourself on a journey back to the pomp of the bands influences.

AD Rating 7/10

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