There’s always a market for pub bands; there always needs to be music which sounds like it makes sense after six pints of ale. Oasis realised this and made an unbelievably long career from it. After (what some may call) being reduced to playing the same set night after night on short stadium spurts, you’d think when the end ultimately came, they’d call it a day. They were never exactly held in high esteem for their creativity. Liam Gallagher seems to have confused him and his brother with Lou Reed and John Cale though, and decided that a record which ‘shows his side’ is something people just need to have.
The initial response to Different Gear… is how dated it feels. And not in the retro way their adverts depict, but in the same way ‘Morning Glory’ now sounds dated in it’s production – and surprisngly this isn’t the only point where a refusal to let go of the past can be used against this record. “I’m going to stand the test of time/just like the Beatles and Stones” he proclaims in track four, ‘Beatles and Stones’, and it’s the exact point at which the ego-boosting gets too exhausting to bare. The rest of album drowns in 60s rhythms, harmonies and everything else the 60s ever gave us, save from the pursuit of originality.
Keep in mind that this is a nearly forty year old man with a wife and kids, and he still writes lyrics that go “I’m taking you drinking/baby come on… you bring the love/it’s ecstasy”, there’s nothing here which suggests depth or personality. It’s so un-friendly in its approach of ‘wanting to be as good as’ someone else (my money’s on the ‘Beatles and Stones’) that it’s not even fun. While Primal Scream siphoned The Rolling Stones through a mid-80s rave haze into something which was fun and didn’t take itself too seriously, these guys make the hippy vibes unbearable, in ‘Bring the Light’ for example. ‘For Anyone’ and much of the rest of the album takes more than one hint from – you guessed it – The Beatles.
There is always an audience for almost all kinds of music. But Beady Eye represent a product which not only seems to be in a market place already pretty stagnant with this genre, but stagnant with much better versions too. In ‘Kill For a Dream’ Liam proposes: “life’s too short to carry regrets” – that’s good then, because he’ll presumably now never end up regretting this turd.
From Nicholas Burman.