Out West
From the rise and fall of Britpop stars Oasis and Blur through the recent surge of nu-New Wave acts like Bloc Party and onto the wuss rock of Coldplay (and lesser Coldplays Keane and Snow Patrol), everybody forgot about Gomez. A terrific British five-piece with three singers and a name like a Mexican pop star, the band has released four weird, wonderful rock albums — not to mention a b-sides and rarities compilation, Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline, better than most originals — infused with techno bits that recall Grandaddy with more brogue and less wit. On the staggering two-disc, 20-song Out West, recorded over three January shows at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco, Gomez demonstrates a fine ability to fill holes — full of random noise and noisemakers in the studio — with layered guitars, synth tricks, harmonies and spontaneous audience clapalongs. While slow burners like the moody “We Haven’t Turned Around” and “Free to Run” don’t have the same impact, highlights include “Going Out West,” a stomper about making it big in Hollywood, a rousing, quiet-loud “Fill My Cup,” the jaunty “Love is Better Than a Warm Trombone” and “Ping One Down,” boasting a practically psychedelic guitar solo. Isn’t it fitting that Gomez made this album on the west coast, where great indie bands can spend a decade putting out records until they break through?
—Tara Thorne
categories: Coast pick

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