SXSW Records


A New Tide (ATO)

Eleven years after the emergence of a puppy-faced quintet of unlikely blues-rockers from the north of England, A New Tide ebbs and flows classic Gomez. The group's sixth studio album is awash in flawless musicianship, "Little Pieces" grooving with bursts of energy punctuated by Ben Ottewell's grumbly vocalizations. "Airstream Driver" thumps a genuine road song, with highlight "Win Park Slope" the striver's tale, singer Ian Ball struggling to balance his ambition with his humanity. Sadly, after focusing its touring energy on building up a college base in the U.S., Gomez seems to have lost its menace, mystery, and insouciance. The kinder, gentler, safe-for-consumption-by-sorority-girls version is fine, but it's merely entertaining where it used to be enchanting. (Thu., Stubb's, 10pm.)


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