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Gomez - Split The Difference


Review: Jack Foley

GOMEZ have hitherto been one of those popular British bands whose support within the industry isn’t always echoed by their music sales.

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 didn’t 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 Don’t Know Where We’re 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 that’s 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 Gomez’s 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.

Track listing:
1. Do One
2. These 3 Sins
3. Silence
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

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