Gaz Coombes — MatadorΔ Fantastic stuff — ★★★★★ by TedCrill
Δ The album charted #18 on the UK Albums Chart.
Birth name: Gareth Michael Coombes
Born: 8 March 1976, Oxford, England
Location: Oxford UK
Notable instruments: Burns Custom Legend, Fender Telecaster Deluxe, Fender Telecaster, Gibson ES–335
Album release: 26 January 2015
Recorded: Courtyard Studios, Oxfordshire
Record Label: Hot Fruit Recordings / Caroline International
01 Buffalo 3:19
02 20/20 4:14
03 The English Ruse 4:43
04 The Girl Who Fell to Earth 3:34
05 Detroit 5:40
06 Needle’s Eye 4:03
07 Seven Walls 3:48
08 Oscillate 3:11
09 To the Wire 4:06
10 Is It On? 0:33
11 Matador 1:23
℗ 2015 Gaz Coombes Ltd
Δ “HE’S MADE HIS MASTERPIECE” — ★★★★ Q MAGAZINE
Δ “…A SERIOUS AND FASCINATING ARTIST” — ★★★★★ MOJO
Δ ★★★★★ — INDEPENDENT
Δ “A BASTION OF BRITISH SONGWRITING” — ★★★★★ THE GUARDIAN
Δ The former Supergrass frontman re–establishes his place as a bastion of British songwriting with his second solo album. Take a listen ahead of its release and let us know your thoughts. :: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jan/19/gaz-coombes-matador-exclusive-album-stream
Δ SUPERGRASS. New 2015 solo album from ex–Supergrass mainman featuring 'The English Ruse' & 'Detroit'.
Δ After six successful albums with Supergrass (including the #1 debut ‘I Should Coco’), Gaz Coombes has released his debut solo album ‘Here Come The Bombs’.
Δ Produced alongside Sam Williams, with whom Coombes first worked with on ‘I Should Coco’, ‘Here Come The Bombs’ represents a continuation of his day–to–day life in music.
By PAT GILBERT JANUARY 26, 2015
Δ Ole! The Supergrass frontman hits the bull’s eye with his maximum scoring second solo album.
Δ HERE’S AN ODD thing: in the last six months three leading Britpop/rock frontmen — Damon Albarn, Thom Yorke and now Supergrass’s Gaz Coombes — have delivered solo albums; and, given the multiplicity of available musical styles and influences, the breadth of collaborators and instruments and moods they could choose from, they’ve all made essentially the same record. Each leans heavily on electronica and exhibits, in places, a keen ear for programmed beats and tricky two–step rhythms. Each has a gentlemanly Middle English mind–set, a reticence to scream, “This is me!” And each oozes a deep, midlife sadness — premature autumnal reflections mixed with tensile defiance. But only one truly warms you to its creator: this one.
Δ While Supergrass never sold as many records as Blur, Oasis or Radiohead, at their finest, they showed equivalent musical depth: in fact, the dreamy, hypnagogic atmosphere of Matador, always evoking twilight shadows and sleepless nights rather than the corporeal world of daylight, was a feature of the band’s singular glam–psych music as early as Late In The Day on 1997’s In It For The Money, and loomed large on their criminally under–appreciated Supergrass two years later.
Δ “It feels like a journey through one man’s rawest emotions.”
Δ Coombes — the band’s creative mainspring, distinctively strained Bowie-ish voice, and iconic bewhiskered pin–up — tentatively dipped into solo waters with 2012’s chequered Here Come The Bombs. But with Matador, he defines what a heavyweight solo LP should be: an instinctive and honest sublimation of a state of mind, full of intriguing revelations but leaving enough questions unanswered to keep you ever seeking more in its grooves.
Δ The irregular beats and woozy electronic sway of opener Buffalo set the tone of disorientation, Coombes telling us, “I lost my way… I found the only road”, before the song ends with a big, doomy dubstep–style finale. The sense of the singer trying to communicate an unease buried deep within is amplified by the next track, the equally opaque and powerful 2020, the wash of instruments simmering down to lay bare a descant McCartney melody, the singer’s proclamation, “I take the hurricane for you”, like many other phrases elsewhere on album, multi–harmonised by Coombes himself, lending it an unsettling church–y feel.
Δ Stars in their teens, Supergrass experienced most rock’n’roll travails and Matador seems an attempt to come to terms with this: Detroit alludes to a white–powder–induced tour meltdown, lamenting his geographical distance from his loved one; and, indeed, Seven Walls nostalgically recalls Gaz and his wife’s courtship in Oxford. But it’s the epic description of bereavement, To The Wire, which eclipses the other tracks in its transcendental power, climaxing with a heart–wrenching refrain of “stay in my heart” over an angry, roiling mesh of sound.
Δ Musically, keyboard–and–Moog textures dominate, augmented with weird tube–amp distortion, motorik beats and gentle ambient moments, and booming sub–bass. By the end, it feels like a journey through one man’s rawest and real emotions. Albarn and Yorke may possess more innate gravitas, but that likeable scamp from Supergrass is shedding his youthful skin to emerge as a serious and fascinating artist. Alright indeed. :: http://www.mojo4music.com/
By Jimi Jac on February 3, 2015; Score: *****
Δ Gaz Coombes is quickly developing into a really fascinating & eccentric British singer/songwriter, which he continues with his latest release.
Δ A mix of quite complex tracks, but still with a home–recording–studio-vide (although ""The Girl who fell to Earth" is a simple ballad, which harks back to Coombes work in his previous life).
Δ A lot of acoustic guitar, & some interesting Brian Eno type subtle dance beats, which really fleshes out the songs & throws up a few surprises within the tracks.
Δ It's interesting that because Coombes isn't under the pressure to record big selling records, it seems to have given him a lot more creative freedom (but with all the positive reviews for "Matador" this may be his biggest selling album for some time).
Δ Indie Guitar music can sometimes get a little stale & predicable, but Coombes is making he mark as the creator of rich & inventive music, long may it continue.
By Ben Hogwood | posted on 21 Jan 2015 | Score: ★★★★½
Δ As the exuberant frontman for the boundlessly imaginative Brit–pop group Supergrass, Gaz Coombes at one point seemed to be an eternal teenager — a man destined to never lose his baby fat and never slow down. But time has a way of aging even the irrepressibly youthful and by their second decade, Supergrass had started to expand sonically and, by the time he released his solo debut Here Come the Bombs in 2012, just two years after the disbandment of Supergrass, Coombes had eased into the role of something of a Brit–pop elder statesman: a pop songwriter who was ready to explore new territory without swearing off his allegiance to melody.
Δ Melody always was Coombes' specialty, even when he was the lead singer of the Jennifers at the age of 16. He and fellow Wheatley Park School classmate Danny Goffey formed the Jennifers when they were teens, and the Oxford–based quartet got far enough to land a contract with Nude, the label best known for signing Suede. The Jennifers fell apart after releasing the "Just Got Back Today" single in 1993 but Coombes and drummer Goffey formed Supergrass with bassist Mick Quinn later that year. Supergrass' rise was quick, with their debut single "Caught by the Fuzz" selling out its first pressing in 1994 and receiving praise from John Peel, NME, and Melody Maker. Their debut, I Should Coco, arrived in the summer of 1995, right in the thick of Brit–pop mania, and it was one of the biggest records of the year, thanks in part to its effervescent hit "Alright." With their second album, 1997's In It for the Money, Supergrass' fame spread outside of England but the group, like so many of their British peers, never managed to crack the U.S. market, despite support from such American fans as Foo Fighters and Pearl Jam.
Δ Supergrass released an eponymous album in 1999 and Life on Other Planets in 2002 — the latter arriving the same year that Gaz's brother Rob Coombes officially joined the band as their keyboardist, but their commercial fortunes began to slide somewhat. The contemplative 2005 record Road to Rouen was followed by the glitzy Diamond Hoo Ha in 2008 and then the group fractured, the band attempting to record a seventh album provisionally titled Released the Drones in 2009 but ultimately abandoning the sessions. In the aftermath of the band's split, Coombes and Goffey bashed out cover versions in the 2010 one–off the Hotrats, and Coombes got down to business for his solo career, recording Here Come the Bombs in his home studio. The album appeared in early summer 2012, greeted by generally positive reviews. His second, self–produced album Matador appeared in January 2015. Coombes played the majority of the instruments on Matador, assisted on occasion by his brother Charly and Ride drummer Loz Colbert.
Δ Coombes is the son of Eileen and John Coombes. His father was a food scientist, who enjoyed playing Jazz piano, and his mother an English teacher. Although he was born in England, he lived with his family in San Francisco, from around the age of five up until the age of nine, at which point in 1985 they returned to his birthplace in Oxford.
Δ Coombes played Classical piano at this age, but gradually moved on to an interest in playing guitar. He began to attend Wheatley Comprehensive in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, but found himself being picked on for being 'girly'. His elder brother Rob was friends with Nic Goffey at the time, and one day on the school's playing fields a thirteen–year–old Gaz Coombes met and befriended Nic's younger brother, fifteen–year–old Danny Goffey. Danny Goffey was two years older than Coombes and helped to "protect him" from being teased. Goffey recounts what happened; "I mean, you couldn't fucking miss him. He was gorgeous. He grew sideburns and they [other pupils] gave him loads of shit, but I was really into him. I think I fancied him a bit, y'know? He's really beautiful. He wasn't very mature at that age. He was like a kid. I just went up to him and asked him to form a band. I could. I was a drummer. The tallest drummer in the school."
Δ Coombes originally lived in a Regency townhouse in Brighton, East Sussex, which he first purchased in 1999, with his partner Jools Poore and their daughter, Raya May (born 2003). Due to the death of his mother, Eileen, in 2005, he felt compelled to move back into her house in Oxford during 2006, where he had grown up. Coombes and his partner now have a second daughter, named Tiger (b. 2008). Gaz Coombes and his brothers Rob Coombes, Charly Coombes and Eddie Coombes also jointly own a converted barn in Northern France, which is where the Supergrass album Road to Rouen was recorded.
Δ He has three other siblings who are all involved in music: the eldest is the keyboardist and fellow Supergrass member Rob, former 22–20s keyboardist Charly and Paris–based Ed (who also plays piano)
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