erasing clouds

Gomez, In Our Gun (Virgin)

reviewed by Erin Hucke

I'm beginning to think I've said all I can about Gomez. But they keep making music that makes me want to say more, even if I do just end up sounding like a looped sample. So humor me for a second while I quickly bring everyone to the same level. Perhaps a little background information upfront will prevent me from repeating myself too much later on.

Gomez debuted in 1998 with Bring It On, followed up with their sophomore effort, Liquid Skin, in 1999 and released the Machismo EP in early 2000. From then until now, thousands of fans have been patiently waiting for the band's third album, which has finally landed in our laps with a giant blast of strange and beautiful music. Gomez has three "tag-team" lead singers, and explores more than a few music styles like blues, rock 'n' roll and electronica, which provides a bit of variety.

On In Our Gun, the band's new album, Gomez has taken their signature combination of acoustics and electronics, turned up the concept about 300 percent and spread it over an entire album. Toning down their laid-back, silly, neo-folksy attitude, the band shows a side we rarely see - a more aggressive, ominous side. The electronics take a menacing twist at points and many of the lyrics aren't really fodder for Hallmark cards. "So we sit in our gun. And we wait for our turn. I think you hurt him. There's blood on the floor," Ian Ball carefully tells us on "In Our Gun." this the Gomez we once knew? Listen closely enough and there's no mistaking that it is. The delicate acoustic guitars and dramatic swells as they appear in "Even Song" and "1000 Times" are more prevalent than ever.

Fans will be happy to know Ian Ball and Ben Ottewell evenly split vocal duties, but I am saddened by the lack of vocals from Tom Gray. He only sings lead on two songs, even though one may be the best of the album, "The Sound of Sounds," with its soft approach and romantic harmonies.

I could keep giving you reasons go listen to In Our Gun. Or I could keep rambling on about how this band is one of the best out there, but I've got three checkmarks next to "Promote Gomez" on my to-do list, so maybe I'll just shut up now.

Issue 9, April 2002 | next article

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