Gomez Liquid Skin (Virgin)

SXSW Records

Record Reviews

Gomez

Liquid Skin (Virgin)

Blame record labels, blame radio programmers, or blame the unadventurous ears that clog this great nation of ours, but the fact is American bands get straightjacketed by genre. Brits, on the other hand, are allowed the elbow room to mix things up. Therefore, when a band like Gomez is heavily influenced by American roots music, they suffer no strictures of blooze rock. They are tastefully transcendent, loose and loopy, familiar and futuristic. Granted, the big gruff voice of lead singer Ian Ball intones as American, while the groovy vibe is Dead-on, yet they let the British-sounding, little bloke sing, too, as the band slips hooks into most tracks. If you're an Anglophile, this album will take some time, and perhaps, if they were from Alabama, we might not be arsed. But were they from the Deep South somewhere, they would lack that intangible something that makes this, Gomez's second full-length, so hard to pigeonhole. Listen once or twice, and you might dismiss it, but should you find yourself in a listening mood -- perhaps on a late night after a bit of a smoke -- the songs creep up on you. Hey, I like it, and I still make hippies use the side entrance. (Friday, La Zona Rosa, 7:30pm)

***.5

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