Record review

ACL Fest Reviews


Split the Difference (Virgin) Has it only been a year and change since we heard from Gomez? Somehow, these guys tend to disappear for what feels like yonks, only to resurface insouciantly as if they'd never been gone at all, reminding listeners of their forgotten hunger for these five lads from Liverpool and their daring, experimental, revisionist swamp-blues-rock. Split the Difference slinked onto shelves in May with little to no fanfare, which boggles the mind, as it's just as staggeringly good as its three older brothers. The opening track, "Do One," is deliciously sloppy, incorporating the three-part harmonies, sexed-up fuzz guitar, and a bottom-end buzz that represents the best of the band's previous work. "These 3 Sins" captures the raw, rollicking energy one imagines was generated in the studio; would that all sins felt this good. "We Don't Know Where We're Going" and "Meet Me in the City" could be homages to the Big Easy, with their voodoo vibe, guttural oomph, and oft angry intensity. Lest you think the Gomez lads have left their cheeky spirit behind, be sure not to miss "Extra Special Guy," the delivery so lazy and laconic that "mmm mmm mmm" stands in for actual words. Split the Difference could easily do without the pained closer, "There It Was." What's with the trend of good bands putting crappy tracks at the tail end of otherwise stellar albums? Despite this misstep, Split is more than up to the task of feeding those fans ready to gobble it up. (Friday, 8pm, Heineken stage)


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