Gomez - Bring It On [20th Anniversary Edition Box Set]
At the fag end of the best part of Britpop ('93-'98) came Merseysiders Gomez. Offering something pretty different from the standard guitar music of 1998, the quintet won the Mercury Music Prize. They beat off such lauded albums as The Verve's Urban Hymns and Massive Attack's Mezzanine. A bit less incongruously Robbie Williams' Life Thru A Lens was also nominated... But Gomez won and 20 years on the four-disc box set is out to celebrate, and to remind us of the glory of Bring It On.
And it is a glorious album, listening to it through the 2018 remaster only reminds you of the layers that the band build on each track. They also sound like pretty much nothing else from that era; there's a bit of gruff blues rock, some shimmering ethereal electronics, low slung grooving riffs, and Ben Ottewell's voice, more likely to be heard on a 62-year-old bluesman from the Mississipi Delta than a 22-year-old Merseysider. From album opener 'Get Miles', through the singles 'Whippin' Piccadilly' and '78 Stone Wobble', to 'Get Myself Arrested' and the epic 'Rie's Wagon' there are hints of everything from Public Enemy to The Beatles and Pearl Jam.
So Bring It On itself is still a bloody marvel, but what of the other three discs on this box set? Well disc two covers b-sides and demos, and throws up further gems like the stripped back 'Wham Bam' and playful 'Pussyfootin'' and 'The Cowboy Song'. Disc three brings various demos, including the terrific 'Emma Freud', and further versions of songs like ''Get Miles'. The proper live stuff comes in the form of a BBC Radio One session and live tracks from Glastonbury on disc four.
Quite honestly this is all great stuff if you have the time to get deep into it. The value of these tracks is in how much you like the album itself and then how much you care about the progression of a song like 'Whippin' Picadilly'. Simply put, Bring It On is one of the best albums of the 90s, if you don't fancy splashing £40 on this version then the single disc remaster of the album is well worth it too.