Album review: Beady Eye, Different Gear, Still Speeding

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Album Reviews

When Oasis broke up two years ago, three of its members decided to carry on under the new moniker Beady Eye.
The one not coming along for the ride? Chief songwriter Noel Gallagher, who wrote all their early hits and about 85 to 90 percent of their entire catalogue.
It would make sense to think any Oasis album minus Noel Gallagher would be a total crapfest, but that’s certainly not the case with Beady Eye’s debut disc, Different Gear, Still Speeding.
Liam retains Oasis holdovers Gem Archer and Andy Bell along with drummer Chris Sharrock, and the result of their collaboration is a punchy look backward (as most Oasis albums are) to the 60s and 70s, where the Gallagher brothers seem stuck.
The songwriting is a pleasant surprise, as most tracks are better than a majority of Oasis’ latter-day efforts and a few stand up nicely to their early masterworks Definitely Maybe and What’s the Story, Morning Glory.
Opening track “Four-Letter Word” seem to be a not so subtle kiss-off to Noel, with Liam spouting the verses feverishly behind a smashing backing from the band.
“Millionaire” adds a bit of countrified awesomeness to Liam’s playbook, and he sounds at ease and confident, as he does throughout the entire record.
“The Roller” is an excellent single, although it bares a not so slight resemblance to John Lennon’s “Instant Karma,” particularly the piano backing.
On “Beatles and Stones,” Beady Eye ironically cops a bassline from The Who, sounding eerilie similar to “My Generation.”
But the Gallagher brothers have been doing this for years, and I’d rather make records sounding like the Beatles than the drivel that passes for music these days (Katy Perry, Kesha, Lady GaGa, Black Eyed Peas).
Other highlights include the psychedelic freakout jam “Wigwam,” the Jerry Lee Lewis send off “Bring the Light” and the lilting closer, “The Morning Sun.”
I was a bit skeptical on how good this band would be, but it seems Liam and the boys have been liberated, freed from Noel’s shackles of creative control.
They’re already talking about their second album, while there is no word of a Noel Gallagher album anytime soon. Hope he’s taking some notes.

Sod rating: ****

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