on 30 September 2009
The thing with this album is that it leaves you wanting a lot more. After two solid albums, Gomez started to get a bit more experimental, and this pre-empted the 2002 album 'In Our Gun' which was again a solid album, but built around more experimental music mixed with their classic sound and digital effects.
What Gomez gives us with Machismo is a little insight into the 3 years between 'Liquid Skin' and 'In Our Gun' and I suppose, somewhat aptly, the music seems to be a bridge between the two albums. So first off; If you are looking for something to fill the gap between these two albums, this is a very good EP to buy, if not for the songs themselves, for coherence and judge of progression.
However, there are the songs themselves...
'Machismo' is the first track on this EP, and it is a song crafted around a sample from a David Blaine show (yes, honestly!) and a catchy guitar hook, with a chorus which utilises all three singers to great effect, and it is an incredibly addictive yet atmospheric song.
'Do's and Don'ts' is a very trippy song led by Ian Ball. It has a very bluesy feel to it, and has the danger of sliding into mundanity and sending you into a hazy dream, but this effect is only fleeting for the song clocks in at 2:08, so the whole charm of the song isn't spoiled.
Track three is a song led by Ben Ottewell called 'Touchin' Up'. This song is a much more standard Gomez song in that the core of the song is based around acoustic guitar and vocals. However this song crescendos nicely with strings and makes for a well rounded song.
'Waster' is an incredibly funky tune led by Tom Gray on vocals and guitar with a lovely piano in the background. This song is a lot of fun with a very sing-along chorus.
I suppose the last track deserves the most praise, clocking in at 13:33 and being somewhat epic for it. In fact what you get with 'The Dajon Song' is a blend of Gomez at their bluesiest and their trippiest. What I will say about this song is that it can fade into the subconscious owing to the nature of the song and its length. However, whilst this is true, the song itself is incredibly impressive - Ian Ball is very haunting on this track.
Overall, a great buy for any Gomez fan; maybe not a starter album for anyone starting out, however it is full of quality and innovation (even if it is only 5 tracks long)
on 5 September 2000
Machismo shows Gomez extending their creative talent again. The title track is based around a sample from an American TV show, and Gomez weave this unlikely source into an excellent track that shows Gomez at something like their best. The remaining tracks only serve to heighten that impression. Do's and Don'ts may not be everyones cup of tea but it's pretty short, and in my opinion, sweet. Our second helping of sugar is the magnificent Touchin' Up. This track uses with panash the marvalous medicine that is Ben and strings, just like We Haven't Turned Around, and some would say it even surpasses it. Next up is Waster. This really isn't my type of Gomez, I like it but it made me hesitate when I put the 'Gomez at their best' bit at the top. Aftera bit of thought I left it up there as I know that quite a lot of people do like it. In some ways it's a lot more conventional than most Gomez tracks, just an funny sounding acoustic and an Ian(Tom) led vocal, but very different to most Gomez songs I know. Finally, the climax of this E.P - The Dajon Song! This 13 minute wonder is almost an instrumental, but not quite. Still not a song though. However, if you like Gomez and you are willing to listen for 13 minutes to a kalidascope of sounds (as I am) then dig this! Music I would liken it to is the Beatles awesome Tomorrow Never Knows, and Gomez' very own instrumental B-side: Gomez in a Bucket (A Sea-side Town of Ice Cream, Slowly Melting). Unusally for Gomez this is the one track on this LP that needs a bit of listening to enjoy it, despite this Machismo is a very accessable E.P. and a treat for hardended Gomez fans, and thier friends alike.
on 8 September 2000
For those of you who know Gomez, this song is as good as (if not better) than anything they've done so far. It has the familiar sound of Gomez - nice beat, nice riffs, nice vocals.
For those of you who don't know Gomez, this is a great place to start. Get this CD now. You'll thank me for it, seriously. Then you'll probably want to buy 'Bring it on', then 'Liquid skin', then you'll probably want to buy their latest album 'Abandoned shopping trolley'.
Machismo is a very nice tune.
Over twenty minutes of Gomez! Machismo is even better as a CD track than as the video available on the 'Five Men In A Hut' DVD. The two songs that follow are slightly nondescript at first listen, I'm sure they will grow as all Gomez songs that do not grab first time do. The final track, The Dajon Song, is a long blues jam and very moody - mmmm.