Tchad Blake-produced fourth album from British blues-rockers
Since their Mercury Music Prize-winning debut Bring It On six years ago, Gomez’s fusion of American roots music has suffered from the law of diminishing returns. The marketing pitch for their fourth album claims they’ve beefed up the sound and gone for a more straightforward rock’n’roll approach built around bass, drums and layers of riffing guitars. This actually does them a disservice. Yes, tracks such as “Where Ya Going?” and “Chicken Out” are heads-down-see-you-at-the-end hard rockers that makes them sound like Southport’s answer to ZZ Top. But there’s plenty more going on that doesn’t involve such dumbing-down. “Meet Me In The City” is a semi-acoustic blues shuffle and “Sweet Virginia” is a lovely piece of baroque pop, while “Catch Me Up” and “These Three Sins” are country-rock romps that recall the heyday of Albert Lee’s Heads, Hands & Feet.