The world has stopped in breathless anticipation of this album. At least that’s what Beady Eye – Oasis minus main songwriter Noel Gallagher – thinks.
The world actually didn’t stop, however, and the release of Different Gear, Still Speeding hasn’t really been the splash, let alone ripple, the band bragged it would be. Although it would have been disappointing if the band didn’t brag; a big part of Oasis’ non-mystique is how they brought the swagger back to rock music.
As seismic – again in their eyes – as Nietzsche declaring God dead, Beady Eye declaring Noel dead, and “rising” from those ashes, could potentially either be a bold act of defiance or the makings of one of the greatest punch lines in rock history
In all, Different Gear, Still Speeding has a freshness and intensity the last Oasis album – Dig Out Your Soul – was lacking. Chalk it up to Beady Eye having something to prove, or their vindictive need to crawl out from Noel’s shadow.
With the opener, “Four Letter Word,” this revived energy is palatable and carries through various other tracks, most notably “Standing on the Edge of Noise” and “Wind Up Dream.”
This renewed panache, however, stutter-steps when the requisite Beatles pastiche rears its head. Liam Gallagher is unabashedly derivative and without his older brother to butt heads with, he runs for comfort to both the ’60s and the Lennon/McCartney canon with mixed results.
For every catchy and capable song like “The Roller,” “For Anyone,” and “Three Ring Circus,” which reveal layers and depths to the songwriting, there is a shameful sister-track like “Wigwam,” the hideous “Bring the Light,” and blatantly daft “Beatles and Stones,” a poor choice of title given the similarly named, yet sublime House of Love single from 1990.
Robust egoism (and previously copious amounts of cocaine) was always a quality and consistency killer for Oasis, yet thankfully, Beady Eye are able to produce some accomplished and polished numbers, despite the self-love and ’60s simulacra, to produce an inconsistent debut that in the end reveals some promise.