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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Tom Gray , Ben Ottewell (vocals, guitar); Katherine Bottenill (vocals); Philip Krohnengold (accordion); Ben Frost (drum programming).
  • Audio Mixers: Gil Norton; Adrian Bushby.
  • Recording information: Fiddler's Armpit, Los Angeles, CA (10/2005-12/2005); Rak Studios, London, England (10/2005-12/2005).
  • Following up the double-disc live album OUT WEST, 2006's HOW WE OPERATE marks Gomez's first studio outing for the Dave Matthews-founded ATO Records. This 12-song release finds the ever-inventive British ensemble offering up yet another eclectic set that mixes rock, pop, blues, and folk in an utterly unique concoction, as wonderfully revealed on the title track, which shifts from lilting string passages to bold bursts of guitar. As always, the band never approaches its tunes in a predictable manner, instead opting to surprise listeners, as on "Charley Patton Songs," a composition that deftly integrates beautiful harmony vocals, percussive piano lines, and chiming guitar lines and brings to mind a more organic version of Radiohead. Sure to please both Gomez diehards and many curious newcomers, HOW WE OPERATE is a shining example of an adventurous group that is totally committed to forging its own aesthetic.
Professional Reviews
Entertainment Weekly (p.136) - "They land a bull's-eye, as career high points like the peppy power-pop 'Girlshapedlovedrug' and peacenik sing-along 'See the World' point to a renovated Gomez..." -- Grade: B+

Q (p.113) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[W]hether upping the country quotient, going power-pop or self-consciously striving too hard to be American, they remain their own one-off creation."

Alternative Press (p.192) - "[S]inger/guitarist Ben Ottewell's songs are stirring, sometimes-raucous affairs powered by the emotional depth of his backwoods croak and colored by banjo, lap-steel and harmonica accents."

Magnet (p.96) - "If it's possible to both whisper and be wildly accessible, Gomez attempts just that on its fifth album by utilizing Gil Norton's production hand to bring out the simple elegance of its roots-rock sound."

No Depression (p.110) - "Idealistic ballads such as 'Charley Patton Songs' and 'Notice' build acoustic, slightly psychedelic layers on exquisite tunes..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.106) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Gomez can pile on the power or drop to a whisper with the dramatic aplomb of the Pixies, Jeff Buckley or Led Zep."
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