Go, Go, Gomez!

You'd be a village idiot not to spend an afternoon with it and a pint of your favorite.

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.