I wrote earlier today about the upcoming release of AC/DC's first album in eight years. AC/DC is one of those bands that you like or you don't and there just isn't a hell of a lot of convincing to be done. They are what they are and you either get something from it or you don't.
The same can be said of Oasis, although the Gallagher brothers are probably twice as polarizing as the Youngs and that's why I'm not going to waste a moment of this (p)review defending them to those who aren't already onboard.
I suppose the most telling thing about "The Shock of The Lightning" is that TheWifeToWhomI'mMarried – also an Oasis fan – correctly identified this as a new Oasis song within ten seconds. She didn't even have to hear Liam to know. She said knowing that a new Oasis album was on the way helped, but there is something distinctive about the Oasis guitar sound and whatever that thing is was very apparent within the song's opening moments.
Oasis aren't incapable of subtlety; they simply choose to ignore it most of the time. These guys aren't going to get caught overthinking a song or a record, putting all their eggs in the basket of immediacy. When they nail that, they write classics. When they miss, you get (most of) Standing On The Shoulder of Giants.
"The Shock Of The Lightning" is loud, driving, and massive and yes, it is immediate. The hook isn't obvious and the song relies more on volume and bombast than melody, but the relentless surge, hypnotic keyboards, propulsive drumming, and sneering lead vocal suck you in and won't let go.
The real stars of this song are Zak Starkey and Liam Gallagher. When no one was looking, Starkey stopped being "Ringo's son" and became one of the premier drummers in all of Britain. Liam and his voice set plenty of people on edge, and God knows he's a total bastard but when did likeability become an essential ingredient for rock singers? He's just the latest in a long line of vocalists to play the anti-charisma card. My biggest gripe on this song is that Liam's voice is a little too buried in the mix.
There are a million reasons not to like Oasis, and I've chosen to ignore all of them. "The Shock Of The Lightning" has only increased my anticipation for Dig Out Your Soul. Now the only question that remains is whether or not to break out the $100 on the deluxe box.