Follow Us on Twitter

Gomez - How We Operate

Gomez, How We Operate

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

GOMEZ appear to be celebrating their tenth anniversary in style.

The band reach double figures in October and get the party started early in sublime fashion thanks to new album, How We Operate.

By Ben Ottewell’s own admission: “The last album was pretty rocking and reflected the live show a lot. With this one, we wanted to focus on songs, melodies and words, rather than volume.”

Hence, opening track Notice, a tender slow-burner that finds the band in supremely confident form. It’s a lovely record – reflective in nature (“I’ve stopped trying to like what I don’t like”) and constructed around some enchanting guitar riffs.

But while it may be a surprisingly low-key effort when compared to Gomez classics such as Whippin’ Piccadilly and 78 Stone Wobble, it works every bit as effectively.

Second track, See The World hints at country and western, as well as Van Morrisson in it’s ‘sha la la’ chorus, that’s made for singing along with. It’s another recording of effortless beauty that finds the band at their most relaxed and enjoyable.

That’s not to say the album is all about slow tracks – far from it.

Current single, Girlshapedlovedrug is tremendous fun, having been constructed around some hopelessly catchy hooks, some typically strong lyrics and an easygoing style that puts it firmly among the best of their back catalogue so far.

While Tear Your Love Apart contains some of the sharpest riffs on the album and is delivered in a supremely rousing style that fans can imagine will go down well in live form.

Strong, too, is the banjo-heavy title track, How We Operate, which neatly showcases the band’s musical progression – they’re not afraid to draw on new instruments to enhance and progress their sound. The chorus is steeped in classic rock values, while those trademark husky vocals sound more like Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder than ever (no bad thing).

The foot-tapping Hamoa Beach, meanwhile, is simply a great listen, featuring some more tremendous hooks and another catchy chorus.

One of my favourites, however, is the epic slow-burner Charley Patton Songs, an achingly beautiful effort that recalls the sublime beauty of Turn The World Around. At just over five minutes, it’s one of the longest records on the album but is an almighty listen steeped in a bittersweet melancholy that makes it utterly enchanting.

It is evidence of the band at its most mature and serves as a nice contrast to the more playful likes of Woman! Man! or Cry On Demand, a cheeky lament about not being able to turn on the waterworks complete with a chirpy whistle.

With so many tracks to recommend, it seems Gomez have constructed another classic record. How We Operate is a towering achievement – great fun, ever-evolving and an absolute must for fans and non-converts alike. You won’t be disappointed.

Track listing:

  1. Notice
  2. See The World
  3. How We Operate
  4. Hamoa Beach
  5. Girlshapedlovedrug
  6. Chasing Ghosts With Alcohol
  7. Tear Your Love Apart
  8. Charley Patton Songs
  9. Woman! Man!
  10. All Too Much
  11. Cry On Demand
  12. Don’t Make Me Laugh