A New Tide

Studio Album by released in 2009

A New Tide review

Gomez plays blues-rock for more than a decade

The British quintet Gomez announced itself on a big scene, winning the Mercury Music Prize for their debut disc Bring It On in 1998. It may seem strange, but only two years before it, the band even did not have the official name. The name was found by accidence. During their first concert in Leeds, the artists left a sing for their friend Gomez in order to help him to find the place and listen to them. However, the listeners decided that Gomez was the name of the band, which finally stuck to the collective. In spite of all this, when the band started sending their demos to the British labels, there was a bidding war for the contract with it. Unluckily, the recording studio Hut Recordings of the major label Virgin Records, to which Gomez signed, was dissoluted. It happened after their disc Split The Difference (2004), which was not a success. Nevertheless, the musicians made a deal with the ATO Records, founded by The Dave Matthews Band. The cooperation proved to be fruitful. After the brilliant disc How We Operate, the artists headed to a new tour along the USA, as their music found more response there, not in their Motherland. It is not surprising though, as Gomez music’s core is the blues-rock. It also incorporates the influence of country, R&B and other genre. Actually, it is hard to define the genre, in which these rockers create for more than a decade. Their fresh album A New Tide became a proof to this statement.

A New Tide: the borderline album

It is no surprise that after a bothersome album Split The Difference, the release of How We Operate cheered up the listeners, who are regular fans of the talented quintet Gomez. Their experiments, uniting Britpop with electronica and American roots music were fascinating to many music-lovers, as mixing such different genres into a masterpiece record in a challenge, which only several bands can manage. Currently, the members of Gomez decided to complicate the task, which was hard to crack before it, with making it more mainstream. This idea was materialized on the disc A New Tide. The tracks from the disc can be divided into two categories – the ones with experimentalism and the ones with mainstream stylization. The first type gives us such wonderful specimen as the song If I Ask You Nicely, starting with an original bass solo, the upbeat and catchy tune Airstream Driver, which has the main surprises close to the end, and the electronica-flavored composition Win Park Slope. However, the tracks in the best traditions of American rock are not as simple as they seem to be. The hand of Gomez is well felt in the song Natural Reaction trough the sound of marimba. The blues-rock track Little Pieces will remind the listeners the earlier works by the band, while the motifs Other Plans and Boned Tired – the second one being loaded with harp, acoustic guitar and electronics – are too Britpop-like sounding to be taken for the American culture fruits.

On the way to mainstream

You can easily see it that the members of Gomes are making their slow, but firm way to the mainstream. They always loved to play with the classical song skeleton, but this time they created several songs without any fancies in this area. A New Tide also features tracks that can be different from the creativity by other rock-bands only due to some stylish details. The same thing goes about the texts – they became lighter, sunnier, but no one can call them shallow. The musicians from Gomez left behind the excessive darkness of the moods, but even their optimistic compositions have the deep spirituality, which is not common for the American pop rock culture. However, this experiment by Gomez was predictable in a way – before the A New Tide release, they toured along the USA solo and with The Dave Matthews Band for so long that they just could not pass over the musical traditions of this country, especially taking in consideration their long-time experience in this field. The other question is the fact that only a rare person can imagine how Gomez can add new streams to its impressing list of genres and how it is going to sound in the result. Anyway, on the disc A New Tide, Gomez’s members proved that it takes nothing for them to incorporate a couple of new genres and sound both recognizable and enchanting.