There was a time not 45 years ago that Southern rock ruled. Bands like The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Creedence Clearwater Revival weren’t afraid to dirty their licks and splash some hard rock into their boogie ‘n’ blues. Modern-day descendants have tended to favor flexing their country muscles over rock, but several acts have managed to keep that fuzz-and-grits torch burning. The Loom may be the newest of them.
Brooklyn’s The Loom may not hail from the heart of Dixie, but Creedence came from San Fran, so who cares? Their brand of Americana, a healthy heaping of folk smattered with horns and male/female dual vocals, refreshingly cuts loose at times with hot, fuzzy guitar solos. A song like The Middle Distance barrels forward with crashing drumbeats, swirling brass, and frenetic vocals and gives way to guitarist John Fanning’s blissfully overdriven leads. Fanning’s voice sounds a bit like Bill Callahan on record, and his sing-speaking vocal style may remind you of that artist’s Smog days, while vocalist Sydney Price threads in the female harmonies. The five-piece’s musical gifts are best played to when they seem to let the music overflow the boundaries of the song; A Song of Faint Praise and The Curtain Calls each swell to grandiose proportions once the horns pull out all the stops.
Listeners who come into their debut full-length, Teeth, expecting the endless boogie of a Whipping Post will be let down; the jams are largely confined to four-minute songs. The Loom manages to shine in its quieter moments: The First Freeze, which lets Price take lead vocals, is a beautifully soothing number amongst all of the barn burners. What we have here is a new band treading old territory, but if Teeth is any indication, they have the talent to do it justice.
Essential Songs: The Middle Distance, The Curtain Calls, and The First Freeze