Max Gomez has a natural affinity for making music of the well worn and slightly tarnished variety. His songs have to do with lost love, attempted love and all sorts of emotional tangles in between. And while desperation and desire somehow manage to impact on his emotions, he finds a clearness and conviction that never seem to waver.
Gomez’s new EP Me & Joe picks up where his full length debut, Rule the World left off, and so it’s no surprise that the final track of the album provides the title track of the former with a wistful refrain. In fact, Gomez hits the mark on every one of these five offerings, making this a teasingly tempting preview for whatever comes next. The resilient “Senseless Love” comes across as both forthright and forlorn, bolstered by a resolute melody that takes him from the darker shadows and plunges him head first into determination. The plaintive “Make It Me” offers a passionate plea: “If you’re going to love somebody baby, make it me.” The reflection and remorse instilled in “Joe” is equally affecting while the jaunty blues of “Sweet Cruel World” offers up an effortless ramble that finds his unassuming tones still intact.
Despite its modest scope, Me & Joe demonstrates the fact that Gomez is credible and convincing, a young artist with a knack for crafting instantly memorable melodies that seem like they’ve been floating in the ethos forever. Despite convenient comparisons to Kris Kristofferson, Townes Van Zandt and Rodney Crowell, Gomez is clearly deserving of reaping kudos of his own.