Beady Eye – Different Gear, Still Speeding

Hardly full of surprises, a compelling start

And so we have the first full work to follow since the split of Oasis – probably the most anticipated Gallagher action this decade. Who’d have thought it’d be Liam – the truculent brother whose song writing, eclipsed by big bro’s, evolved publicly over four albums from lyrical clunkers (“plasticine/trampoline” in ‘Little James’) to valiant Lennon dreaminess (‘I’m Outta Time’) – that would bounce back first, and so eagerly? Welcome Beady Eye – effectively Oasis without Noel Gallagher – and 2011’s first album of real intrigue.

The album is a result of diplomatic and collaborative sessions between the members of Beady Eye, who’ve each brought songs – or sketches – to the table to be worked on.

Gem Archer and Andy Bell, free from the restraints of Noel, have flourished on ‘DG,SS’ – Archer especially is credited for commandeering studio time and is thus mainly responsible for the group’s sonic direction. Liam, meanwhile, sounds like an uncaged beast; he sounds recharged, excited and grateful for this new lease of life; “I just wanna rock and roll”, he sings in ‘Beatles And Stones’, and you believe him.

‘Four Letter Word’ declares Beady Eye’s intent: they are loud, insistent, balls-to-the-wall, and unremitting in their attack. It’s an exhilarating statement: “nothing ever lasts forever”, Liam sneers, kicking his past firmly behind him. It continues through the aforementioned heart-on-sleeve ‘Beatles And Stones’, first single ‘Bring The Light’, and the brazen thrust of ‘Standing On The Edge Of The Noise’. So it’s when they take their feet off the accelerator that things get a bit less thrilling.

‘Wind Up Dream’ is rather aimless, and while ‘Kill For A Dream’ is pretty, its “na na na na na” ending is somewhat trite. ‘The Beat Goes On’ bucks the mid-tempo trend though – its immaculate melody and chorus is only let down by being about a minute too long.

The album’s accompanying press release urges for it to be judged as a debut from a new band – despite that familiar voice and distinct retro overtones, there is a freshness here that’s to be admired, but it lacks a spark of modern relevance or lyrical dynamism. Beady Eye are at the beginning of their own musical adventure – ‘DG,SS’, though hardly full of surprises, is a compelling way to start.


Words by Simon Harper

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