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After 18 years, 7 albums, 41 awards and countless sell-out tours; oasis had well and truly made their mark in the British music scene. They played a massive part in the brit-pop music scene back in the 1990's; a music genre that was inspired by British pop acts from the 60's and 70's like The Beatles and The Kinks. Not only did they play part in the Brit-pop scene, but they managed to survive for another nine years without falling into the shadows the way that a lot of other brit-pop bands did. Their sound was strong and became a true inspiration (and in some cases a drunken anthem) for anyone from North of England; with myself being one of these people.
I was Lucky enough to see them live back in July 2009 (In Manchester aswell!) and it was their final tour as a band. To think that I may never have got to see them live would of been something short of soul-destroying. However this was not the case, and it turned out to be one of the best gigs of may life; more chaotic than you could ever imagine, and definitely a true northern affair.
After oasis broke up back in November 2009 I often wondered if the brit-pop culture had well and truly died, and would Liam and Noel be able to survive on their own; after years of supporting each other through the good, the bad and the ugly. I also wondered how two artists that created a sound so distinctive as Oasis would be able to produce any new music without it sounding like an Oasis record. Two years later and from the ashes two bands have risen, on one side of the fence you have Liam with his new band "Beady Eye" and the other side of the fence plays host to Noel and his band "Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds". The biggest question being which band would you choose to listen to if you could only pick one? Personally, i'd choose to listen to "Beady Eye". I'm a bigger fan of rock and roll with balls and swagger; the way the Rolling stones used to be, rather than the clean cut side of rock and roll that Paul Mcartney brings to the table (I always was a John Lennon fan!).
One thing I truly admired about Liam's new band Beady Eye, was that they could have quite easily ridden on the success of Oasis and used that to propel the band into worldwide success. But rather than go down that route, they created their own label (Beady Eye Records) and started completely from scratch; and band that has the guts to do this will have me as a fan from day one. And in all honesty i didn't think Liam had the sanity to go it alone without noel, i guess only time will tell if he flies off the rails or not; rumour has it that he no longer drinks, so he may be around in the music scene long enough to make his mark the second time around.
When I used to listen to Oasis, I could often hear flickers of the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and the Stones Roses coming through. However these influences are more evident in this Beady Eye record, especially the Beatles influence.
The first song on the album "Sons of the Stage(bonus track)" kicks off with deep baselines and a strong rhythmic presence that really sets the scene. Lyrically it's a strong song with Liam's vocals really soaring strong, the opening track reminds me slightly of "Reverend and the Makers". Overall it seems like a higher tempo sound than what Oasis gave us in the 90's. The guitar solo's are definitely stronger in the verses. Beady Eye keep up the tempo with their second track "Four Letter Word". The vocals in this song are very similar to Liam's old stuff; in the way that he drags the words out as he sings. The rhythm is definitely more chaotic and explosive, with solo's hitting you from left and right; an excellent addition to the song. The combination of the guitar and drums reminds me more of the Vines and The Strokes than anything Liam has ever done with Oasis.
The album then slows down and becomes more pleasant rather than edgy and hard-hitting, "Millionaire" is a track I wouldn't personally listen to more than a couple of times; it's more filler than killer and comes across as one of the weaker songs on the album. Their next song "The Roller" (the single released) is excellent. The first time I head it on the radio I honestly thought the radio station was playing a John Lennon song I hadn't heard before; fans of the Beatles will either love or hate Beady Eye for their Beatles references on this record. One thing I think you need to consider is that it's the northern accent that makes the song sound like a John Lennon song, rather than purposefully trying to achieve this sound. It's not only the vocals but the rhythm also plays a part in the excellent quality of this song; the overall sound is extremely tight and well produced.
The next song "Beatles and Stones" is perfect evidence of the bands influences and it only serves as a means to cement that both bands sounds are present on the album. The keyboard is an awesome addiction to this song; something I thought I'd never hear the band do. Lyrically, I love this song. It's easily one of the stronger songs on the album. I personally think this song was a daring move band the band; especially considering it's their first album and their trying to make an impression as a new fresh act.
"Wind Up Dream" is your typically Oasis style classic, it was something they could have quite easily removed from the album and it would have only worked in their favour; the song came across as a track to bulk out the album rather than a song that was specifically written to make a statement. Their next song "Bring The Light" is amazing! It's completely unexpected and it sounds like a Jerry Lee Lewis song with Liam Singing over the top. I truly love the fact that the band are really experimenting with their sound in this record and showing where their influences lie. It's a true rock and roll song through and through with the drum and keyboards really forming the backbone and the upbeat tempo for the song. "For Anyone Who Knows" and"Kill for A Dream" are quite similar to classic oasis songs with their chorus's being quite strong and their not being many lyrics in the songs. The type of song that would quite easily become an typical anthem, especially "Kill for A Dream" with the lyrics "Na, na, na, na, na".
The album then takes a turn back into early 50's/60's rock and roll sound with "Standing on the Edge of the Noise" It's more chaotic than the previous two songs but lacks lyrically. I's someone that loves a great set of lyrics in a song, so an excellent guitar solo will only take me so far before it becomes boring. "Wigwam"is a softer song with a rhythm that I really dislike for the pure fact it sounds like Liam is forming a Bay-city Rollers tribute act. In short, this song literally does nothing for me, another song that relies heavily on the guitar rhythm to carry the sound. The only saving grace is that the drum-beat and guitar piece at the end sound like it came straight of The Who's album "Tommy".
Finally the album gets back on track, with the swagger; I can almost imagine Liam with a whiskey in hand busting shapes across the stage. "Three Ring Circus" is a great song, quite easily one of the stronger songs on the album.
Once again were back to the John Lennon sound with "The Beat Goes on", this is definitely one of my favourite songs on the album. It's lyrically stronger than many of their other songs and the rhythm only increases the quality of the track. The addition of other instruments really creates a greater sound with this song and Liam's vocals really highlight the fact that he's more than just an anthem screaming man from Manchester. The seaside sounds on the start of this song made me think that "Champange Supernova" was about to begin, however I was sadly mistaken."The Morning Son" is probably the only song on the album that comes across with any true emotion, an emotion that's accompanied by the down-trodden rhythm of the guitars. The production quality really shines through on this song and the echo effect on the vocals really creates this distant atmospheric sound. Towards the end the song really picks up with the guitars and the drums becoming more and more intense: a perfect ending for the record.
Title: Different Gear Still Speeding (Released Feb 2011)
1. Four Letter Word
3. The Roller
4. Beatles and Stones
5. Wind Up Dream
6. Bring the Light
7. For Anyone
8. Kill for A Dream
9. Standing on the Edge of the Noise
11.Three Ring Circus
12. The Beat Goes On
13. The Morning Son
Runtime: 51mins 34 secs
Label: Beady Eye Records
Where do i start with coming to a conclusion for this album?
Rather than being the raw "Black Keys" esque album I was hoping for, it seems that Liam has gone for the softer edge of rock and roll for most of the songs but with a few up-tempo rock and roll style songs that make the album completely chaotic. It's evident that Noel was the calm order in the band with Liam being the sugar filled child running around hitting anything that makes a beat.
Generally this album is all over the place, there's no consistency with the songs: each song has a completely different sound than the one before it.
It also seems that this album is really missing Noel's excellent writing skills, that addition would truly compliment the excellent guitar rhythms and truly make this a stronger album on the whole; the football style anthems did become boring after a while. Rather than being an independent record that really pushes the boundaries of new music and popular culture, i'd have to say its more of a homage to British music of the past 30 years: with overtones of the Oasis vocals thrown in for good measure. I did originally have my doubts that neither Liam or Noel would be able to produce a record without it echoing their past accomplishments with Oasis and i'd have to say my doubts were true; especially for Liam, for Noel only the future will tell. The Beatles references are unmistakable throughout, it's something that John, Paul, Ringo and george would find endearing rather than become angry about. It's also nice to hear overtones of that incredible beetles sound come back into mainstream music once again.
Would I recommend this album? Yes I would, i think it's definitely worth a purchase for the pure fact that its almost like "the best of" British music rolled into one album.
But, I personally think Beady Eye need to really push their sound (and work out exactly what their sound is) to make a new mark on the music scene; this album doesn't even bruise the surface!
Cost Of CD
HMV: £4.99 (free delivery)
PLAY.com: £3.99 (free delivery)
This is the first album by the former Oasis frontman, Liam Gallagher. The singer has brought with him two other members of Oasis's last line up too, the Bass player Andy Bell and guitarist Gem Archer.
The style and feel of the album is pure Liam. Right from the word go, his scathing, unapologetic vocals really hit you in a way that they didn't do on any Oasis record. Not that his Oasis work wasn't raw or emotional, it just feels like he's been let off the leash a bit on this record, which is not hard to believe, since it's all his band as opposed to his brothers.
As you listen, you know that Liam is the creative director, and chief songwriter, even though the album credits all band members as joint song writers. (except the drummer). The song that I think pins their intentions down is the track - Beatles and Stones. Just the title of it lets you know that you're listening to a band whose greatest idols are - the very people they are singing about. The track For Anyone, for example, is quite blatantly a nod to McCartney's song For No One and its jangly, 1965 style guitar work cements that nod.
Other songs of note are the first single off the album The Roller, which is the song that drew my attention to the album, Millionaire, which has become the second single, and The Beat Goes On. These are songs I generally skip to after I've just put the album on.
So unlike the Beatles or the Stones, Liam's first venture into solo work has no real versatility in the writing. Apart from the songs I stated, each song generally feels similar to the next one. It's not that I don'y think Liam is a poor songwriter, in fact I think he's extremely talented, but the album is missing one vital ingredient, Noel Gallagher. If this had been an Oasis album, the fillers such as Kill For a Dream and Three Ring Circus would have been replaced by some Noel Gallagher song, something which the album ultimately lacks.
The album cover has nice paperback feel to it and has an old and used theme to it like handling an old vinyl. Indeed the album has some fake creases on it that you actually find yourself trying to iron out sometimes!!
Overall this is a pleasant album with some strong songs, but ends up being a bit samey and bows a bit too much to the band's inspirations.
Firstly let me say I am a massive Oasis fan so it was inevitable I would have to check out "Oasis sans Noel" album. Knowing that Noel Gallagher was the writing and driving force behind the bands anthemic songs I should not be comparing Beady Eye to Oasis but the comparison is almost inevitable. I would have to say that this album is nowhere near as good as even the dodgiest Oasis album but that is because I have my Oasis head on.
I will try to review the album without this mindset as best as possible, so if I had never heard of Oasis what would I really think of this album?
I found Different Gear Same Speed on the whole to have a very 60's Northern Soul type vibe about it - I can certainly imagine it being played in Indie Discos across the UK. This type of music is right up my street. The 60's sound is mainly due to the fact that most of the songs are "homages" to many recognisable 60's classics. It seems that Liam and the gang have picked up some of Noels tendencies for nicking other peoples melodies, you will play a game of "what does this sound like" with yourself when listening to the album which can be a bit distracting. A perfect example is the first single from the album The Roller.We all know that Oasis used to pinch loads of Beatles songs and this track is a perfect example of this. Liams vocals could easily be taken for John Lennon and when the song opens you would be forgiven for thinking you were listening to All You Need is Love or Instant Karma.The question you need to ask is does this matter? So what if they are copying - if you are going to copy anyone copy the artists of the 60's.
It is true there is nothing original here nor are there any WOW tracks or the anthemic Oasis tunes of old but on the whole it does have a nice chilled out feel to it. For me this is very much a summer album and I fully expect to be listening to this album at BBQ's and in beer gardens in a few months.
If you like The Beatles, Beach Boys, The Who, or the Rolling Stones you will either love this because they are all present or hate this because they are all present.
"Four Letter Word"
"Beatles and Stones"
"Wind Up Dream"
"Bring the Light"
"Kill for a Dream"
"Standing on the Edge of the Noise"