How many times have you bought a CD for one song, only to find that the rest is crap ? I bought this, and was stunned as one song after another worked its way into my subconscience.
Quirky, offbeat, but it makes so much sense. As a cynical thirty-something who thought he had discovered all that was worth listening to, I ate my words. It is brilliant.
Listen to songs like Tijuana Lady. It changes several times into something different. Favourite tracks ? er, the first five I think ! can't split them.
A stunning new album which this cynical old muso never thought he would say again after the early eighties !
Recommended without reservation.
I'd never really heard anything like Ottewell's roaring vocals before (I was only 18 at the time), and the way the rest of the band counterbalance them- from Ball's sharp melodies to Gray's laid-back bluesy groove- set in stone something that hasn't worked so well since the Beatles. Not to say that Bring It On sounds much like the Beatles, only that it's so well done that it makes you wonder how a few young ex-student types could create such a masterpiece in their debut album.
This isn't indie (though the name may trick you), it isn't rock (though no-one still making music rocks quite like Gomez at their best) and there are no ballads (though tender moments creep in throughout the album). When friends ask me what type of music Gomez play, I have to admit I don't know. Gomez are Gomez. They are truly original. Many critics casually drop in influences from blues etc, but this album is like nothing you will have heard before- or are likely to hear again.
Straight from the off, "Get Miles" gets you rocking. The electronic sounds of the intro trick you into thinking you know what's coming, but then the verse kicks in and you don't know what's going on. Ottewell bellows "The waves upon my shore take me away piece by piece..." and you know exactly what he means. As "Whippin' Piccadilly" takes hold, you know you're onto something special. This album goes from one extreme to another, and the cool pop-ness of the second track is the one that first gets most people's attention, the amazing combination of Ball and Ottewell on the vocals surprises me still.
"Make No Sound" is a soft rolling piece that gets better and better with each listen, especially the heart breaking chorus- "Said to her 'There's beauty', but all she sees is pain". 78 Stone Wobble is a strange little number- with megaphone vocals that are almost unintelligible but with an incredibly infectious beat. It's also the first indication of this album's inexplicable Mexican feel, which is cemented by the sublime "Tijuana Lady". This is probably the most moving song on the album, and you can almost imagine this being the soundtrack to a Pacific coast road trip. It's filled with sadness, and this track alone makes it worth buying the album.
"Here Comes The Breeze" is like nothing else; it takes its time to build up and then breaks down in a funky antipodean middle section. This is one of the fans' favourites, and deservedly so (Ironically, Gomez are said to be sick of playing this song live and often liven it up by turning it into old 80's classics such as "Pump up the Volume"!).
"Love Is Better..." tears into you straight away, and Gray, who seems to have been born to sing this kind of song, throws himself into it wholeheartedly.
"Get Myself Arrested" is another crowd pleaser with a deep, almost dirty bass line and punchy chorus with a sing-along ending that quite rightly ends in applause. "Free To Run" is one of my favourites, and is the first song that Ottewell wrote, which highlights just how astounding these guys are. When the echo goes up and the instrumental plucks it's way through the air, you know you're listening to something very special.
Gray makes his finale with the beautiful "Bubble Gum Years"- an American-sounding reminiscent journey, which I'll always remember listening to on the boring bus ride home from work all those years ago. The album comes to its real end with "Rie's Wagon" ("The Comeback" is just a 30 second long reprisal to remind you of the strange experience you've just had) that blows away not only your mind but your ears and spine too if you have the volume turned up loud enough. If "Get Myself Arrested"'s bass line was dirty, the nose-diving motorcycle roar of the guitars on this track can only be described as filth. Be warned- this one could break your speakers.
This is a truly amazing album, and that cannot be overstated. One more track would have been nice, but to ask for that would be cheeky. If you're thinking about whether to buy this album- think no longer. If you've listened to parts of it but are not too sure yet- give it another chance. I'm begging you. Don't let this masterpiece of modern music pass you by.
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