Gaz Coombes - Here Come The Bombs
Given that Supergrass split two years ago citing "musical differences," I approached Gaz Coombes' debut solo album with caution. After all, the one thing that’s been consistent throughout Coombes' career is his knack of crafting big pop hooks and catchy choruses, and my worry was that these might have been jettisoned in a bid to leave his past behind, and reinvent himself as a serious solo artist. Pleasingly, this is not the case as Coombes seems very much aware of what his audience wants to hear, and on Here Come The Bombs he seems to be happy to give it to them.
That isn't to say that he's just made another Supergrass album. Instead he's managed to retain the elements that made Supergrass so popular, whilst showcasing some new strings to his bow. So lead single 'Hot Fruit' gives us the sound of Gaz Coombes in space. It’s frentic, fizzing with electronic energy and poppy goodness, which builds up to an explosive chorus. 'Whore' follows in a similar vein, with spacy keyboard effects over the chorus, which again sees Coombes aiming straight for the dancefloor. Even at his most experimental, Coombes seems to have one ear on the radio. 'Sub Divider is more lo-fi in nature, darker, with more sinister guitar twangs, yet Coombes still makes it into a pop hit. Similarly, 'Universal Cinema' shows more risks being taken. At over 6 minutes in length, it starts off slowly before going bursting into a glam-industrial stomp. 'White Noise' is the most conventional song on album, trading electronica for a more gentle and melodious sound, whilst 'Sleeping Giant' is a serene album closer.
With his new album, Coombes had a difficult balancing act to master, and for the most part he's pulled it off. It's hard to imagine his existing fanbase being disappointed with Here Come The Bombs, and it's punchy enough to appeal to a new audience as well. Whether or not Here Come The Bombs will return Coombes back to the chart highs of I Should Coco is immaterial, for this is very much the sound of a singer comfortable in his own skin and enjoying what he is doing.