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Gomez have a good ole'
time on
Out West

Out West (ATO)


Gomez have never really sounded like a totally
contemporary band; there was always something
hidden deep within their songs that harkened back
to an earlier time. Sure their approach has been
totally original, and sure they certainly
wouldn’t have
sounded exactly as they do had they been
born/formed 30 years prior to when they actually
did, but all the same their music has this organic
cohesiveness that is so rare nowadays — it doesn’t
necessarily owe a great deal to, say, Radiohead,
but is instead all their own.
The only band that they can earn something of a comparison to is The Band — taking the blues and American
roots music, blending it together with an eclectic mesh of voices and instruments, and spin off results that are
truly all their own.
Music From Big Pink and Bring It On, par example, are both stunning debuts that broke the
woodwork of everything around them. They don’t really sound like each other, but they feel like long-lost relatives.

This trend of “have I been here before?” brings us to
Out West, Gomez’s first live document, recorded earlier this
year at the Fillmore in San Francisco, Calif. The double-live set from the Fillmore in itself is trés retro, but it feels
comfortable coming from Gomez.

They don’t skimp on the music either, and it feels the way a Gomez album should feel — slightly off the cuff, fun,
loose and personal. The opening “Get Miles” does nothing to defame the brooding power of its studio
counterpart; “Revolutionary Kind” is expanded and stretched here, showing off the band’s experimental side
(which has always been a strength anyway); “Do One” packs a refreshing punch (given the surrounding part of
the set) “Get Myself Arrested” includes the mandatory audience sing-along; and “Whippin’ Piccadilly” is a bit
more revved-up and sounds like a lot more fun than the original.

So, what we have here is just what should have been expected: an excellent live album. It’s not revolutionary and
it won’t make anyone toss the band’s previous albums in the trash, but it makes for a fun listen and it's
different enough to warrant frequent playbacks later on. Slap it on in the car just before a long ride — you’ll
breeze through your commute in no time.