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Gomez :: Split the Difference

Dave Herbert



Gomez is a British group that has never really been put in any category. Since their inception in 1996 this five piece have released two acclaimed albums: Bring It On (1998) and In Our Gun (2002). Both were amalgams of blues, folk and post-grunge rock guitar, whipped up and served with keyboards, vocal harmonies and a dash of harmonica.
If 1999’s somewhat disappointing Liquid Skin failed to dodge comparisons to Eddie Vedder and his boys’ No Code, Split the Difference is not without its Pearl Jam moments. Opening Track ‘Do One’, with its fuzz-heavy guitars and loose kick, sounds ever so mid-nineties American, as does Track four ‘Me You and Everybody.’ However, Gomez has the ability to chop and change between three vocalists, often using all three at the same time to create a wall of warm melody. This accounts for the vocals with an often-American tinged accent or the psychedelic British snarl on tracks like ‘Don’t Know Where We’re Going.’
But Gomez is at their best when they find a compromise between influences from both sides of the Atlantic. ‘These 3 Sins’ is equal parts Dylan and Lennon, folksy blues guitar, up tempo rhythms and those killer vocal melodies I told you about. I’ve never liked it when a British band sounds American, but then you could argue that the Beatles and the Stones sound American.
Gomez seem content in their own well-rounded world, whether it be the psychedelic drenched keyboards and guitar of ‘Silence’ or the beautiful string ballad ‘Sweet Virginia.’ The band have hit back with an excellent album, perhaps it’s the assistance of producer Tchad Blake (Crowded House, Pearl Jam) or the group’s own ability to stick to their guns in the face of fashion. Fans of Gomez will like it, I like it. And if you want an album that will take you on a roller coaster ride of blues, psychedelic rock n roll, blistering folk and vocal harmonies then I suggest you beg, steal, buy or borrow this album!