Gomez - Split the Difference

Split the Difference


First Appeared in The Music Box, July 2004, Volume 11, #7

Written by John Metzger


The pairing of Gomez with producer Tchad Blake is a natural union that provides plenty of fodder for the bandís experimental tendencies, though not quite in the manner in which one would expect. Rather than build upon the electronic textures of its previous effort In Our Gun (or, for that matter, the surreal soundscapes for which Blake is known), Gomez turned its fourth studio outing Split the Difference into a psychedelic fusion of garage rock and Britpop that succeeds where many artists in both genres recently have failed. Given the group features a trio of songwriters, there understandably is a wealth of ideas drifting through the collectionís disparate tracks, and as a result, the first half of the album is nothing short of stellar. The opening Do One breaks into a thunderous roar of guitars, drums, and bass before Ben Ottewell hazily emotes in his finest Eddie Vedder voice, while on Me, You, and Everybody the group visits with Pearl Jamís organic, folk-oriented side. Elsewhere, the harsh, edgy, elastic march of We Donít Know Where Weíre Going recalls Nirvana on an acid trip; Catch Me Up fuses Phantom Planet with Oasis; and tunes like the burbling beats of These 3 Sins, the freak-out blitz of shrapnel that is Silence, and the dreamy, string-laden Sweet Virginia respectively tap into the sun-splashed pop of The Las, Super Furry Animals, and Travis. Indeed, the entirety of Split the Difference is colored with the sort of infectious melodies, stunning harmonies, and intricate flourishes that made The Beatles so special, and although the album falters somewhat in its latter portions ó largely because Gomez recycles a few too many of the concepts it unveiled earlier in the set ó itís still a groovy song cycle worthy of far more attention than itís likely to receive. starstarstar Ĺ


Of Further Interest...

R.E.M. - Accelerate

Spiritualized - Amazing Grace

Travis - 12 Memories


Split the Difference is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2004 The Music Box