Highlights: Four Letter Word, The Roller, For Anyone
Needless to say, this album sounds exactly like everyone thought it would. While essentially Noel Gallagher was Oasis, you would not expect Beady Eye to fall completely flat. After all, Liam did contribute a couple of good songs to Oasis, and those other band members couldn’t be too incompetent. At first I thought they were bound to lose some subtlety with Noel gone, but then I of course had to cut myself short: what subtlety???
The good thing about Different Gear, Still Speeding is that Liam and Co manage to infuse the whole thing with some prime energy missing from many of Oasis’ latter-day albums. Naturally: Liam had a lot to prove. But once you cut through all those balls and swagger, you realise that the songs are actually… not too inspired. Well, I guess “Four Letter Word” (the album’s “Rock’n’Roll Star”) does open the whole thing perfectly. “The Roller”, with Liam at his most Lennon-esque and melodic, also rolls on nicely in that classic, overblown Oasis fashion . Then there’s the brief “For Anyone” that brings fond memories of “Songbird”.
But a good half of these songs are your familiar Oasis mess. Decent, colourful, cocky Oasis mess. Predictable as hell, catchy in its own trashy way. And “Beatles And Stones”? My God, Liam. But at least you gotta admire his commitment.
I believe that what Beady Eye set to achieve here was the glorious recreation of Definitely Maybe. Ridiculous, of course, but they pull it off – if only in spirit. Musically it sounds like second-hand Oasis... But then: Oasis themselves sounded like second-hand Oasis for the most part of their career…