This Gomez article was written by Steven Loftin, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Nick Roseblade

1998 was a peculiar year for the awards. Amongst the acts that were nominated were now-considered giants of British Music The Verve and Pulp, but the winners that were chosen out of the twelve nominated was Gomez with ‘Bring It On’. Now this choice is perfectly just for the album that swims along the lines of swamp-blues with a hint of psychedelia. It’s truly a record that pushes the boundaries of music, and after all isn’t that was this award is about? Sheer musical credit.

The Verve ‘Urban Hymns’ is absolutely a modern day classic now, but did it show enough musical exploration for the time? The answer to that question normally splits crowds either way but the only people that needed to be asked and needed to answer that question were the judges that year, and they believed it did not. Though over time ‘Bring It On’ hasn’t had the same attraction ‘Urban Hymns’ has over the years, it certainly did what was needed and more for the judges at the time.

The sound you’ll find on ‘Bring It On’ is something that you still find on releases today. With a voice reminiscent of James Morrison (I’m sorry) and musical equivalent to that of Wilco with a bit less affluence, they certainly held their own in standing out from the crowd.

Guitars that are both bare to the bone and wrapped in distortion, Gomez really brought out the soul of the Blues genre. Half of the album itself was recorded using four-track tape, a sound you can’t fake, and something that hides itself as a jewel in the sonic soundscape. The longest track on the record is ‘Rie’s Wagon’, clocking in at just over nine minutes culminates in a crescendo, leading into radio frequency noises and feedback. This aptly leads into the songs shortest cut and the final track of the record, ‘The Comeback’, which is almost a continuation of ‘Rie’s Wagon’, until it breaks into a carefree electric piano/faux trombone sound that snaps you out of your induced psych-trance and back into reality with a slap.

As a whole the record is a journey of both high’s and low’s, but it’s certainly an engaging listen without any moments that lull. It’s clear to see why this record beat all the others this particular year, a list that as previously mentioned included ‘Urban Hymns, as well as Cornershop ’When I Was Born For The 7th Time’, Asian Dub Foundation ‘Rafi’s Revenge’, Massive Attack ‘Mezzanine’ and even Robbie Williams’ solo-debut ‘Life Thru A Lens’. It has a special factor very few of the others had, and that is it’s ability to sound ahead of it’s time without losing the timelessness of the blues sound.

Mercury Winners : Gomez ‘Bring It On’ (1998)

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