"Authentic.” It’s a sneer-drawing, unfashionable word in these hyper-self-aware times, but one that Tarik Badwan, frontman of Loom, keeps coming back to in conversation. The band, whose gigs have been making an impression of teeth-at-your-throat intensity, are not afraid of being either earnest or uncool. “As long as you know what you’re doing, what anyone else thinks won’t matter,” Tarik informs Radar in a St Pancras pub, having caught the train into London for a photoshoot with guitarists Matthew Marsh and Joshua Fitzgerald and drummer Neil Byrne.
So young and so impervious! Loom, who’ve been playing live for about a year and a half now – and who are already predicting they’ll have about 40 songs ready when they come to record their debut – are going to need tough skins, ‘burdened’ as they are with a family connection. Tarik is brother to The Horrors’ Faris Badwan, but he’s relaxed about the inevitable comparisons.
“If he was in an awful band, that would be really annoying,” he says sagely, “but he’s in one of the most authentic bands of recent years, and one of the most respected critically. I think anyone with half a brain for music will realise that it’s a completely different set of influences.” Those influences are not timely ones, or cool ones – Nirvana, Misfits, Mudhoney, The Jesus Lizard. Sick, sexy, churning, grungy hard rock. Not something you hear a lot of, and not something you often hear done right, either.
“I hate the idea of people being called punk or grunge when there’s nothing remotely aggressive about their music,” spits Tarik. While they’re no mere grunge revival act, aggression is something Loom certainly excel at, Tarik already gaining a reputation as a magnetically malevolent frontman. Excitement is brewing: forthcoming single ‘I Get A Taste’ is being played on late-night Radio 1, and heated whispers abound about their live show. That sibling link may draw people’s attention initially, but Tarik knows that ultimately it all comes back to one thing. “Having a successful family member will only get you to a certain point. If the music’s no good, people won’t listen to it. We know exactly what we’re doing and we’re on track.” That’s the sound of authentic self-belief right there. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
NEED TO KNOW
For Fans Of: Mudhoney, Nirvana, Melvins
Buy it: ‘I Get A Taste’ is out March 25 on Hate Hate Hate. An EP follows in spring
See them live: Tipsy, London (March 21); The Horn, St Albans (April 4); Shipping Forecast, Liverpool (May 2)
On NME.COM: Listen to an exclusive stream of 'She's Not There'
Believe It Or Not: Faris and Tarik wrote songs together as young ’uns. Tarik says he’d do so again – but only when Loom have established themselves
on their own terms.