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Liquid Skin

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And that moment, just a handful of seconds, provides such an immense peak that it gives me chills just thinking about it. Guitarist Ian Ball said they moved so that they would be able to "recreate the home-recorded sound of the first album, but in grander surroundings". Because of this, Gomez were always hard to categorize, a fact that, despite their popularity, gave the UK press pause to go on the attack.

Four singers take turns in the vocal duties including the amazing sultry voice of Ben Ottewell, or Tom Gray, or Ian Ball or a rhythm section second to none. John-channeling “Blue Moon Rising” and Ben’s guileless “Rosalita,” but out of context (and this record is hard as hell to contextualize) they seem a bit like pastiche, easy to criticize retreads from the first record. When we were compiling stuff for this special deluxe thing we’re doing here, I raided a bunch of CDs from my dad’s attic, he’d kept a bunch of stuff.That’s evident on the otherwise obtuse “California,” the orchestral arrangement given the aforementioned “We Haven’t Turned Around Yet” and the brass embellishment given “Devil Will Ride. The first CD finds the original album accompanied by a selection of songs that have remained unreleased until now. Eventually, two of their members set up homes in America, and in recent years there have been a number of solo records from members of the group. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Gomez’s Liquid Skin, Virgin/UMC will be remastering the album and releasing a 2CD featuring 19 unreleased tracks, plus two accompanying vinyl editions. Cheeky schoolkids goofing on Creedence was a great pitch to English listeners in 1998, particularly given how naturally good Gomez were at it.

The reissue’s wealth of bonus tracks and unreleased add-ons provide some illumination as far as the creative process was concerned, but the inclusion of a concert recorded at the Fillmore in San Francisco two years later fully fleshes out the sound and adds additional emphasis. A New Tide is a professional, veteran-type record that functions like latter-day Wilco in the way it gives you a little sample of each of the band’s various sides and doesn’t embarrass itself any. Then contact your credit card company, it may take some time before your refund is officially posted. It ends with a raga rock coda; the song was written around the same time as "Tijuana Lady" (from Bring It On), though was abandoned and left off their debut. I listen and think, ‘That’s a good song,’ with no recollection of ever doing it, not even halfway through the song.The band also tour Australia and New Zealand later in the year, and will perform both Bring It On and Liquid Skin in their entirety at both the Auckland and Brisbane shows. Nostalgia has brought the excitement of old back around for both fans and the band, starting with the lavish reissue of debut Bring It On in 2018 and a subsequent tour. But having something like a song on a major movie like that opened the door to other places in the States that weren’t so aware of British music.

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