Gomez - Split The Difference

Benjamin Short 17/05/2004

Rating: 1/5

Secretly, for almost the past decade, a band which emerged from a Merseyside suburb have been making music that is just as fantastically psychedelic as that of The Coral, but with little recognition or acclaim. This is the fourth studio album from Gomez, but unfortunately, 'Split The Difference' falls far short of the high standards set by its predecessors.

Many of the usual features of a Gomez record are here: Warm, bluesy guitars and harmonica, sun drenched ambience, and three part vocal harmonies (which come as great comfort to an exiled Liverpudlian who craves the sound of a familiar accent!) What are notably absent are songs of the caliber of those on the Mercury Prize-winning 'Bring It On'.

The singles 'Catch Me Up' and 'Silence' are the brief highlights of this dire record, along with 'We Don't Know Where We're Going', which recalls the band's traditional Hispanic influences.

However, even a piano driven cover version of Junior Kimborough's 'Meet Me In The City' fails to impress, and the lyrics of 'Chicken Out' sum up the failings of the album as a whole with astounding accuracy: “the rhythm is wrong / someone's out of tune / and you call this a song?”

As much as I want to love this record, there is no reasonable excuse for doing so. Perhaps this review should be in the unsigned section, as that is seemingly where Gomez are headed, particularly in light of the demise of their record label, Hut. 'Split The Difference' is such a disappointment that failure is more than it deserves.