Gomez are a roomful of guys ages 21 or so
who let their musical ideas run away with themselves, and we may consider
ourselves lucky to tag along. Bring It On, their debut, is so
that it includes nary a liner note -- just a booklet of deeply colored
paintings. The music? Wistful, energetic, loose, tuneful scuzz for
the fin de siecle.
The affair kicks off with some standard, late-'90s buzzing and dripping,
interrupted mightily by thundering, gravelly vocals: If Tom Waits is
cracks in the pavement, these guys are bone-jarring potholes. With
"Get Miles," you get roots guitar with some wah wah, tambourines and
shakers, deep cymbal work and lyrics about heading out to sea. Get Miles
Davis? No! Get miles away!
"Whippin' Picadilly" is a dilly, all right, a sprawling, U.K.-football-
anthemic belter-outter about, actually, I know not what, along to
which you can bang pots, or, if disposed, pans. Sample profundity:
"It all falls down/ Not enough hours in a life."
"Make No Sound" is not only a paradox but a plaint: plinky acoustic
guitar plus Joe Cocker-y vocals about those inspiring entities --
beauty and, let's face it, pain. A lost folk wail to which feet may
profitably be stomped.
Two songs open with scratchy record noise. "78 Stone Wobble" scratches
out lyrics like "I don't need nobody to know me/ I don't want nobody
to know" and "open hearted surgery never works." "Tijuana Lady"
is a flamenco strumming and banging epic about one's bootheels wandering
between San Diego and Tijuana for the eponymous senorita: she musta
been good, amigos, 'cos this song goes on a while.
"Here Comes the Breeze" is a watching-the-river-flow daydream, but
things perk up with "Love Is Better Than a Warm Trombone." No
doubt, boys. It's not Noel Coward, but it's plenty snappy anyway.
As is "Get Myself Arrested" -- don't try this at home! -- a blowsy,
good-timey smirk about (I'm paraphrasing) looking for trouble as
a likely amusement for the affluent.
Care for a Band-like shuffle? You got it in the self-explanatory
"Free To Run." "Bubble Gum Years" follows, invoking a "whiskey
bottle and a 45" (gun or record?). "Rie's Wagon" pushes toward
the finish line with grunge-feedback ferocity and, unpredictably,
is about being on fire and having credit with the medicine man,
while being unable to drive a car. "The Comeback" closes out
with just seconds of an enticingly Stone Roses-y dance experiment.
These guys have stones, all right. They hand out chops like
butchers and are as dexterous as bakers. They bring it on,
and you'd be a village idiot not to spend
an afternoon with it and a pint of your favorite.