Gel (4) ‎– Sparkly Things

Honeybunch ‎– honey001, Cargo Records ‎–
Vinyl, LP, Album


1 Blue Lagoon
2 Circus
3 Psycho Pike
4 Micromachine Dream
5 Sunshine
6 Rosie & Jim
7 Icecream Man
8 Oceans
9 Gel Allstarz
10 Charlie B
11 Catching Ants
12 In Your Hair


This Vinyl Edition Is Issued Under Exclusive License From Cargo Records(UK)Ltd.

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January 16, 2015
edited about 1 year ago
Hailing from Reading, UK, Gel were darlings of the glitter infatuated, fanzine explosion of the late 90s, which launched the likes of Inter, Symposium and Midget into the music press and onto the airwaves of Radio 1 notably via the Evening Session's Steve Lamacq and the late John Peel.
Armed with turbo-charged Fender Jazzmasters, Gel were known for frenetic live performances, memorably closing gigs with their souped up version of the Bangles’ Eternal Flame.
They admirably ducked the popular music press 'bratpop' tag by inventing their own ‘Bubblethrash’ genre. Sadly the bubble (thrash) burst too soon and so this vinyl re-issue on Honeybunch is much welcomed.
To those of you already Gelled up you’ll recall the song Sparkly things (interestingly omitted on this release) as a b side from the fizz-punk, blink and you’ll miss it single ‘Catching Ants’ released on Che Trading (thankfully included here).
A fitting title to their album this ‘Sparkly Things’ offers the singles ‘Rosie & Jim’, ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Blue Lagoon’, each more relentlessly euphoric than the last, also the wonderfully titled ‘Micromachine Dream’ and call to arms ‘Gel Allstarz’ (last heard on a Total Guitar cover mounted CD no less!)
Sounding tight and urgent, Julian Standen's production helped Gel's songs stand out at the time against a wealth of other teen punk pop bands offering a similar sound and aesthetic. Like previous work with Llama Farmers Standen's considerable studio suss gives Gel's somewhat familiar song structures serious pop dynamics.
For the fans their anthemic ‘Believe We’re Yummy’ and the brilliant ‘Picture Frame’ would have been nice as an bonus tracks but alas we’ll have to just have to remember them from sweaty nights at the Highbury Garage in 1999.