Multifacted British Indie Rock from Gomez
The new release from Gomez, A New Tide, has a good buzz around it. It is currently #79 on Amazon among MP3 albums. On Wednesday, April 1, Gomez performed the single, Airstream Driver, on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Watch it; it’s fantastic. On A New Tide, Gomez continue to mature as songwriters, craftsmen, individual performers, and as an ensemble. I suspect you will enjoy the new disc, but it’s only a week old and I haven’t heard it enough times yet to do it justice. What I want to do today is go back and recommend the album that made me a fan.
Since I first heard their 1999 sophomore effort, Liquid Skin, I have bought 7 other releases from the band and pulled 7 or more tracks off of 4 of them to live on my iPod. If you aren’t familiar with them, you might want to start with Liquid Skin as I did, especially since you can download the entire disc for $7.00 on Amazon. The album is full of unusual grooves and when several of the songs start, the ear is a little discomfited by the strangeness of the song. They find the flow for every one of them and each becomes a beautifully expressive ballad or a rollicking crowd pleaser. It takes many bands years to learn the trust and writing craft needed to create songs of this complexity and feel. This talented crew has been able to do this since the beginning.
Listen to any or all of these 9, but I would encourage you to listen more than once if possible. This disc grew on me for weeks.
- Hangover – Ben Ottewel has a very distinctive throaty, rasping voice that only sounds cooler when he strains for high notes. It drives the twangy, reverbed guitars and sitar.
- Revolutionary Kind – Breezy acoustic guitars and echo effects set the background for this vocal-rich pop song and the occasionally hard hitting drums keep the song moving. Here’s the whole thing.
- Bring It On – The band has multiple songwriters and vocalists, which keeps the sound varied and interesting. Here, all three lead singers lend a hand. The song seems to break down about halfway through, then launches into a sweeping, hand clapping bridge. Watch the instructional video.
- Blue Moon Rising – I love the patience they display in this song. It passes through several sections, each a different departure from the chorus, but returning faster and larger. By the end of the track, the band is screaming and rocking, but they take four minutes to get there.
- We Haven’t Turned Around – Cello and a little piano give this beautiful anthem depth and color and the powerful chorus honestly gave me goosebumps again today when I listened to it. Hear it all.
- Fill My Cup – I mentioned strange grooves. This waltz starts so awkwardly you think it’s going to be a disposable track, but they keep hammering at the groove and pound it into an absolute stomping rocker.
- Rhythm & Blues Alibi – They built this track around a poppier hook and it is a lot of fun live. They keep this one light and sweet all the way through. Here’s the whole song.
- California – Enough grooves for three separate songs flow seamlessly together into this 7 1/2 minute rocking beauty.
- Devil Will Ride – After the strength of the rest of the disc and the easy power of California, I was curious what they were going to use as a closer. This is a five-star song with pocket guitar work, carefully placed strings, cool vocal effects, and the catchiest sing along ending since Hey Jude. Don’t believe me?
I still love this album many dozens of complete listens later and I am confident you will like this and their other releases. Keep reading for reviews of other Gomez albums. They rock.