on 30 March 2001
I was sitting in a bar in Cape Town ("A touch of madness" in Observatory) when a song was played which I thought was almost Tom Waits (whose music I love) but slightly different. I made enquiries - the song was "Make no sound". When I returned to the UK, I bought the CD on the strength of this song.
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.
on 28 May 2001
I'll not lie. I am predominantly a hip hop fan and don't really care for this sort of music. However this cd(and their other albums - along with 'The Holy Bible' by The manic Street Preachers) are my exception to the rule. I actually purchased 'Liquid Skin' before I purchased 'Bring it on' but I think this only added to the brilliance in this album in that i never thought any thing could possibly be as good as 'Liquid Skin.' My english teacher encouraged me to buy this album saying it was better than 'Liquid skin' and after purchasing this cd I quickly agreeded with him. High lights: erm...all of them, but especially 'make no sound', '78 stone wobble', 'Tijuana lady', 'here comes the breeze', 'get my self arrested', 'ries wagon' and 'bubble gum years.' This will not be apprieciated by everyone - only those with an open mind to any sort of good music.
on 1 May 2003
Pressed for time, I grabbed liquid skin simply because I'd heard of it. A few weeks and many plays later, I wanted to buy anything with the word "Gomez" on it.
One of the first things I came across was Bring it on. As with all classic albums, I was initially unimpressed, finding it hard to get into. That summer, I ended up listening to it for a whole day on a long car journey. The intro to Get miles stopped being grating and became soulful, the melodies (particularly of the choruses) wormed their way into my sub-conscious, and the many layers of the songs became clear. I knew that this album was something special.
And it is. Particularly worth mentioning are Get miles, probably the most chilled piece of music ever! 78 stone wobble, which works perfectly for some reason, and Here comes the breeze, which is possibly my favourite song ever
An album that improves with each listen, I would recommend it to anyone who likes music really, particularly the more laid back kind.
on 10 February 2006
The Mercury music prize is sometimes laughed at. Sometimes there's politics involved in the winner but whether there was a better album than Bring It On in 1998 is irrelevant because this is an album entirley worthy of any award.
Move away from the plaudits and you find an album with the same type of quality running through it as The La's. A bredth of influence that has produced a quite sublime look at lazy suburban living in a psychedelic context.
There are many unsung albums like this and it's nice to think that people will stumble upon this in record shops or on amazon and proclaim it to be as great as it actually is. So if you read this review and like The La's, Badly Drawn Boy, Supergrass or The Bees, have absolutely no hesitation in purchasing.
on 17 May 2004
The first few times I listened to this album (a dodgy cassette copy lent to me by a flat-mate with songs missing and heat-warped distortion), I didn't think too much of it. I couldn't get into it. It was pretty much the same the second time as well. And the third. But then I heard it again, in all its glory, from the original CD, and it blew me away. I don't know what happened during this time, but something clicked. Maybe it took me this long to come to terms with how subtle and moving it can be- you hear something new with every listen.
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.
on 2 March 2003
After listening to Gomez's recent albums that I felt were a bit lacklustre, I decided to return to the original and it made me rememeber what a fantastic album it really is.
The finest thing about this album is the fact that every style of music is represented here. Tijiana Lady is a wonderful acoustic track but the sheer blues power of Rie's Wagon is enough for anyone who enjoys a louder, more potent sound.
In short, this is an album of an era, and while Gomez have not performed so well since this album was released, this labum should be bought just for the sheer quality of what's on offer.
on 26 July 2001
After bursting into my music collection early summer 2000 Gomez are definately staying right at the top of my collection with bands such as Radiohead and Pink Floyd. I rarely come across happy, chilled out and musically relaxing bands like Gomez and I have to say that Gomez's music is one of the rare types which tend to recieve approval from the even most musically narrow-minded people. I think because of their inoffensive vibes and great summer rhythms, that is what above anything else makes Gomez a great band. Their ability to make listeners relaxed and happy.
on 22 December 2003
i first heard a song from the album on "trigger happy tv" soundtrack , it was tijuana lady and i fell in love with it , it was the best song i had ever heard through all my long 14 years of living. Being at this grand old age , i decided the wizest thing to o would be to treck out , all the way to buy the album any way back to the point.
i am sitting here right now listening to "love is better than a warm trombone"(song on the album) and i'm looking at the album cover and , well , i'm a bit miffed . You see the thing is , on the sticker on the front that has the price and everythhing on it , it says that this album is rock. Well , this is anything but true.Yes it does have aspects of rock in it , but this album is so outstandingly original , i really don't think it can be classified just like that.
All the songs on the album are rich in melody and some are so painfuly brilliant , they move me to tears , e.g tijuana lady, free to run , get miles.
I think that one of my favourite songs on the album is "get my self arrested" , i like this because it is up beat , funny , melodic and it relates to real life.
Gomez is my number 1 album and my only advice to you is buy it and buy it now , because it is the most up lifting , wonderful , undescribabel experience when you just sit , listen and love this album
on 23 May 2008
Gomez are a unique combination of jam band and britpop - retaining all the integrity of the first with the catchiness of the second
1. Get Miles - great track but just an opener really.
2. Whippin' Piccadily - very catchy hummable song with great lyrics about getting the train at London's busiest line
3. Make no sound - a very pretty song with a slightly dark tone, very nicely played spartan acoustic guitar
4. 78 stone wobble - excellent song
5. Tijuana Lady - very beautiful song, despite the silly lyrics, which seem to be written by a British band that has very little idea about Mexico - the kind of allusions that someone British would make sombrero / poncho / El Mariachi / Desperado
6. Here Comes The Breeze - good song if one of the weaker numbers
7. Love is better than a warm trombone - instantly catchy hit single
8. Get myself arrested - great lyrics and attitude
9. Free To Run - very wistful number
10. Bubble Gum Years - somewhat like a standard old fashioned Britpop number
11. Rie's Wagon - actually disposeable in the albums context, a jam.
12. The Comeback - closing matching the first song, and finishing a pretty good album.
4.5 stars out of five.
on 27 August 2007
I bought this album back in 1998 after hearing here comes the breeze on a Q magazine compilation CD. I was startled and baffled after listening to the 1st track and looking at the band photo in the album sleeve.....5 lanky students produced this masterclass!? its unfeasable!
The album's psychadelic opener Get Miles Away picks up where the Stone Roses left off with mind bending wah guitar and bluezy interludes. Its incredible how a small group of 19 year old students can sound like a blues/spiritual band from the 1930's, helped immensely by the vocal harmonies shared by a Gravelly voiced Ben, and 2 other strong singers.
The band also meld in odd vynl scratches and samples and some tinny electronica sounds as heard on the lead single Whippin Piccadilly.
However dont think that this is all experimental genre blending, the band are perfectly capable of Rocking out as heard on Love is Better than a Warm Trombone and the psychadelic swirling finisher Ries Wagon.
Overall this is one of the best debuts of the 90's and has enough originality to sustain its influences (something many indie bands of the 90's didnt have!). I highly reccomend this to music fans.