Stillwater, OK's The Gomes is a perplexing enigma of a rock n’ roll duo. When asked about their background and accomplishments, they respond simply, "No history worth stating. No accomplishments at all." The model of understatement. And yet, their next listed show is slated to happen at a place called Sunset Blue in Nagoya, Japan, roughly 6445 miles away. All of this from a band with roughly six songs to their name.
And while most business handbooks in 2015 recommend taking every opportunity to sell yourself, let me say once, and for the record, MUSIC IS NOT BUSINESS. Yes, there is a business around music to be sure but being a great musician and having a successful band requires a much different skillset than a CEO, much to the consternation of the people who would turn a profit off of us creative types. They need us, pure and simple! The business-minded are terribly terrible at contradictions, confusion or any semblance of humor.
Every aspect of The Gomes seems designed to elicit a double take. Savvy listeners & liner-note readers will notice two tracks "Broken Boy" and "When I Was A Girl" on their EP Broken Boy. The former is a moody, midnight doom ride, owing much to the primal yowl of James Osterberg ne Iggy Pop, being the perfect soundtrack for fucked up denizens of the late night. It's dangerous, seductive, psychotic and fun!
"When I Was A Girl", however, is all, not necessarily sweetness but definitely innocence, seemingly told from the perspective of a teenage girl, talking about "staying up late smoking cigarettes" and "how easy it was to pick up men" over a White Stripes blues waltz and some soulful psychedelic guitar work.
As far as I can tell, both members of The Gomes are of the masculine persuasion (hard to tell if they're identifying as such, in this day and age, nor does it matter). This is a GREAT sign as, for the most part, dudes simply aren't allowed to put themselves in women's shoes. Any attempt to relate to femininity has one dubbed "sissy for life." It's totally awesome to hear someone singing from the female perspective which - surprise SURPRISE! - doesn't sound that different from what I was doing when I was teenager (or in my 20’s, or this very second), except putting less emphasis on picking up men. Hell, I even blush a little bit when my friends tell me I'm "prettier than them."
This proves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that rock n’ roll is not some boy's club that we all like to rock out and stay up late. Songs like these help to lay to rest all of the fighting and the hurt feelings and the misunderstandings, by engendering (pun slightly intended) REAL empathy. And, of course, sounding wicked cool while doing so!
The Gomes is one to keep up an eye and an ear on! Here's to hoping they double their recorded output in 2016!
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