What happens when you take a band like Oasis, and you yank away their central creative stimulus, the one guy responsible for their explosion to fame all those years ago? The answer to this pointless question that no-one asked is, it seems, Beady Eye.
For those of you who have remained miraculously, and quite inexplicably, loyal to Oasis these past 17 years – even given the great washes of musical innovation floating unheard and bewildered outside your locked up ears – Oasis minus Noel Gallagher will be a fist-pumpingly satisfying experience. For everyone else, those already cavernous yawns that clamber across your face every time Oasis’s MASSIVE CHOONS are booming about in your vicinity, will now be getting so cheek-stretchingly wide they threaten to damage the very nature of your facial expressions irreparably.
Really, I don’t know what I was expecting. The only worthwhile Oasis songs that have been screwed up and chucked our way since the mid-90s have either been sung by Noel or, in the case of ‘Fucking in the Bushes’, not sung at all. So handing the reins over to Liam, whose voice has somehow become even more like scraping sandpaper across my ultra-sensitive brain tissue as the years have plodded by, was hardly a recipe for originality.
It’s a shame, honestly it is. I should be allowed to be nostalgic for this chavvy gang of Mancs if I want to. But I just can’t. Their drab, pathetic efforts at recreating their early 90s successes, and Liam’s increasingly excruciating efforts to ape John Lennon, make it nigh on impossible. If only they’d at least TRY something new.
The first album I ever bought in my life was Oasis’s What’s The Story? (Morning Glory), back in ’96. Rock and a roll! 11 year old me was loving it. Then I found out Oasis had released another, even better album, two years before. I went and got that too. As Jez in Peep Show astutely points out: those were the “glory years. Brit-Pop was just kicking off, Four Weddings had just come out, it was mental.”
I don’t really know how they did it, but they nailed a zeitgeist perfectly back then. Unfortunately, neither of the Gallaghers appear to know how they did it either.
But what about Different Gear, Still Speeding, I hear you say? What, in a nutshell? Same old gear, and still speeding along a motorway of mediocrity. Keep it close, here’s the secret to ladrock: Come up with some lazy, generic lyrics about rock n roll and living it large, bash out a chord, and then stubbornly hammer it home until the listener is either forced to swig and relent or recoil from fright. I mean come on, that song ‘Beatles and Stones’… argh! All it does is spew out the same tedious lyrics “I just wanna rock n roll, I’m gonna stand the test of time, like Beatles and Stones” over and over. And then over some more! Stand the test of time… pa!
But enough already. I must quit this rant. Seriously, if you enjoy Beady Eye, well, all power to you. There is some solid riff action in here. But please, please, promise me you’ll keep one beady eye – and yes, one beady ear – out for other, more enterprising fare too.
Ch-Check It Out If You’re Partial To – Oasis… that’s about it; I suppose also more likeable British ladrock acts such as The Enemy or Kasabian
Fantastic Track – It’s by no means ‘fantastic’ but ‘Four Letter Word’ has my favourite guitar riff on the album