Monday, June 22, 2009

Gomez - Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline (LP, Virgin)

The question that begs to be asked about Gomez is how can five blokes from Manchester sound like a bunch of old geezers from the Deep South? Whatever the answer, their sunny, lo-fi take on American country rock has won them much adoration. Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline is a collection of their B-sides, live outtakes & radio sessions.

Interestingly, this collection allows Gomez to better define themselves as a band by allowing them to indulge in some of their more experimental tendencies. "Bring Your Lovin' Back Here" gets back to that "classic Gomez" sound, as does the eight-plus minute "Buena Vista". A cover version of The Beatles' "Getting Better" is also included, and has to be one of the best tracks on the album (and a pretty decent cover too).

Despite the fact that this is a collection of odds and ends, Abandoned Shopping Trolley Hotline holds together remarkably well as an album, due to good track selection and intelligent segueing. In fact, some of the songs actually run together quite smoothly, with no break between songs.

This collection shows Gomez to be an extremely self-indulgent band, but their instincts are so good they pull it off without a hitch. Initial pressings include the five-song Machismo EP as a bonus disc.

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