Friday, 13 March 2009

Gomez - A New Tide (Eat Sleep Records 2009)

Does the world need another Gomez album? 'Bring It On' and 'Liquid Skin' ploughed the breezy acoustic soul and blues and quirky electronica ticks so brilliant around ten years ago, and while the rest of the world moved on and moved forward, Gomez continued to mine similar caves with varying success. 'A New Tide' promises a return to their 'freewheeling and experimental roots' yet in actuality delivers something quite polished and devoid of their distinctive voices and breezy harmonies. This is almost serious. This is not from the students who brough us the gravelly 'Tijuana Lady' and the wonky endearing 'Whippin Picadilly'. The boys have grown up, left university, travelled the world and we're left with that post-student daze, one where the twilight twinkles for serious folk. While listenable and occasionally beautiful, 'A New Tide' sounds like it should be soundtracking ponderous moments in American teen dramas. You can imagine 'Little Pieces' and its country-fried rock incidentally honing the gamut of Pacey's emotions as he looks out on a serendipidous sunset over the creek. Only 'Win Park Slope' and single 'Airstream Driver seem to shine through with their whirling psychedelia and quirkiness intact. Much is made of this album being put together online from disparate members separated by the world, and therein lies the inherent problem with it, they don't feel like a gang, they don't feel together, they lack that summery universal vibe that made their first few efforts such a triumph against the odds. They were all together and they shared the same 'last gang in town' mentality as The Clash or The Libertines, despite their different approach. So, what we're left with is a nice mediocre album with some nice ditties about vague emotions, polished and processed and aiming for the college rock ears of American audiences. Gomez have grown up, which is far enough, but with age, they've lost their edge.


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