Sun, 21 November 2004
I went and saw Gomez at The Corner Hotel in Richmond four years ago. It was during their tour for the Liquid Skin album and they still had a pretty limited fan base in Australia. It was a bit surreal seeing them at such an â€œintimateâ€? venue as I had built them up to demi-god status in my mind ever since I first heard their debut Bring it on. It was a great show, and the girl standing right in front of me was doped out of her mind and dancing like she was at a rave â€" the place was so packed she was practically giving me a lap-dance. It was that night that I truly realised how talented these guys really are. (The same could be said about the girl).
Couple of years later and I went and saw the boys at Festival Hall after the In our Gun album came out. Although it was a much bigger gig, one thing really shone through â€" these guys love what they do. I have never seen a band having as much fun on stage as they were that night. They were teaching the audience how to sing in an English accent, as well as how a band doesnâ€™t need to restrict itself to just guitars, drums and bass, or even just one singer for that matter.
That is probably the most obvious thing about the band â€" versatility. They are always trying something different, then mixing that with traditional blues or rock to get the weird hybrid that is Gomez. The new album Split the Difference is very different to its predecessor In Our Gun. The new album has dropped much of the electronic beats and sampling for a much more acoustic approach.
Some of the stand out tracks on the new album:
Me, You and Everybody shows why Gomez are famed for their wonderful blending of vocals â€" while the individual singers are great, they really show their true colours when working together. The percussion and guitars seem to be following their own agenda â€" there is no rhythm guitar as such, no hooks, just great music.
If you want to have a chorus stuck in your head for the rest of your life, then listen to the first single from the album â€" Catch me Up. The rhythms look so easy, but try tapping your feet to this track and youâ€™ll see the wonderful things going on behind the simple faÃ§ade. Trust me, you will find yourself singing this one again and again.
The great tracks just keep coming with Sweet Virginia. The chorus should be sung with acoustic guitars around every drunken campfire in the world â€" but no-one would dare attempt to the play the verses after a few drinks as embarrassment would be sure to follow. This is one of the stand-out tracks on the album, and itâ€™s a shame that it would never get released as a single. The end of the song shows how an experimental band can still sound beautiful.
If you donâ€™t like the song These Three Sins â€" well you should be shot like a rabid dog and buried in an unmarked grave. Thatâ€™s just my opinion, but I stand by it.
I think this album is easily as good as any other Gomez album, and deserves to sell a billion copies â€" but it wonâ€™t. The majority of people in this world seem to either not know who Gomez are (or just not care) despite the quality of the music they put out. No commercial stations have picked up the new tracks, and JJJ will quickly drop it from rotation as it is not a garage band comprised of lesbian skinheads from rural New South Wales doing hip-hop/world music fusion (Sorry, I just had to get that little whinge off my chest).
So if you have ever liked a Gomez album, pick this one up and Iâ€™m sure you will not be disappointed. If you have never heard Gomez before, go into a small record store and ask them to put on the four songs listed above (donâ€™t try this at Sanity or HMV as they wonâ€™t want to take out the new Jessica Simpson album for fear of driving away the 12 year olds).
Just on a side note â€" Iâ€™m off to the Gomez gig in Melbourne on the 5th of July. I took a friend of mine to the Festival Hall show in 2002 and he changed from a person who didnâ€™t own a single Gomez album into a fully fledged fanatic. You may not be reborn, but you will have a bloody good time (You may or may not get a lap-dance, Iâ€™m not promising anything).
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