Review: Jack Foley
GOMEZ have hitherto been one of those popular British bands whose
support within the industry isnt always echoed by their
Their breakthrough album, Bring It On, spawned some classic singles,
in the form of Whippin Piccadily, 78 Stone Wobble
and Get Myself Arrested, but subsequent efforts, such as
In Our Gun and Liquid Skin, only contained moments
of brilliance and didnt fare quite so well.
Some even labelled them, unfairly, as southern Blues-based imitators,
such was their reluctance to branch out.
Well, the Southport-based band has certainly answered such criticisms
with their latest release, Split The Difference, which
revamps things to spectacular effect, recalling the fresh-faced
brilliance of their early days with a new-found confidence in
their all-round musical ability.
The album manages to cross several genres, effortlessly fusing
that trademark blues ability with a far more rock n
roll outlook, which may even appeal to the indie dancefloor crowd.
Tracks such as current single, Silence, with its Stones/Monkees-influenced,
psychedelic-laced melodies sound like a breeze compared to the
Blues-tinted work of more recent efforts, proving that the band
can emerge from its shell to appeal to the mainstream, as well
as the purists.
Indeed, it is the mixture of styles which makes the album so
appealing, with barely a dull moment throughout all 13 tracks.
The scuzzed-up guitars of We Dont Know Where Were
Going provide an excellent example of the bolder direction
Gomez appear to have taken, while Where Ya Going is a pure
rock-out in the finest indie traditions.
Meet Me In The City may possess the piano-drum combination
rift of Tori Amos classic Cornflake Girl, but remains
a tremendously affecting record to boot, while the deeply harmonious
Catch Me Up (a former single) shows that Gomez can play
it light whenever they want to as well.
In fact, it is easy to keep singing the praises. Another highlight,
Chicken Out, sounds like the type of Californian sun-coated
pop-rock anthem that Fountains of Wayne regularly deliver, while
my personal favourite, and the stand-out track on the album, Nothing
Is Wrong manages to sound like a Beatles classic, sung in
the vocal style of Oasis.
Perhaps it is the presence of an outside producer thats
helped to shake off the cobwebs in such spectacular fashion, but,
whatever, the transformation is an astonishing one, that really
ought not to be missed.
Split The Difference is easily Gomezs finest moments
to date and a near-certain contender for one of the very best
British albums of the year. Make sure you catch up with it.
1. Do One
2. These 3 Sins
4. Me, You And Everybody
5. We Don't Know Where We're Going
6. Sweet Virginia
7. Catch Me Up (Album Version)
8. Where Ya Going?
9. Meet Me In The City
10. Chicken Out
11. Extra Special Guy
12. Nothing Is Wrong
13. There It Was