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Beady Eye

  • Different Gear, Still Speeding,
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    Beady Eye

    Related Artists - Oasis, Noel Gallagher, Status Quo
    Related Genres - Modern And Classic Rock

    Different Gear, Still Speeding ( 2011 )
    Four Letter Word / Millionaire / The Roller / Beatles and Stones / Wind Up Dream / Bring the Light / For Anyone / Kill for a Dream / Standing on the Edge of the Noise / Wigwam / Three Ring Circus / The Beat Goes on / The Morning Son

    Liam Gallagher teams up with former Oasis guitarists Gem Archer and Andy Bell to release this debut Beady Eye LP. First impressions reveal a surprisingly lively set of songs, freed from the mid-tempo dad-rock Noel had increasingly peddled. A glance at the writing credits is also revealing, far from Liam dominating proceedings, Archer and Bell both get their chance to shine. Maybe Noel didn't rate Andy Bell's Oasis efforts, but any fan of his previous band Ride will tell you this guy has talent. Let's see then, Bell primarily pens 'Four Letter Word', 'Millionaire', 'Kill For A Dream' and 'The Beat Goes On'. Archer pens 'The Roller', 'Wind Up Dream', 'Standing On The Edge Of The Noise' and 'Three Ring Cirus'. That leaves Liam penning 'Beatles and Stones', 'Bring The Light', 'For Anyone', 'Wigman' and 'The Morning Son'. Fairly democratic then? Well, obviously so. Musically 'Beady Eye' are not that different to latter-day Oasis. They have arguably more energy, the guitars of Gem Archer and Andy Bell are more than enough to compensate for the musical loss of Noel. The drummer does well although he's not really highlighted in the mix. A few swirls of psychedelic production effects from Steve Lillywhite here and there and that's it really. A simple set of mostly live-sounding songs, a solid set of songs all told.

    If we must make comparison's, musically Oasis fans will like this album. The lyrics aren't the strongest, but a few Noel lyrics aside, neither were they the main point of Oasis albums. The bass is slightly louder for Beady Eye when compared to Oasis. The main thing is though, and stating the blindingly obvious here, Beady Eye are Oasis without the hit singles, essentially. Liam has stated the album contains no clunkers and he's right but equally there are no songs for a generation, either. Nothing for a milkman to whistle on his rounds. Melodies are often weak then although the playing and arrangements surprisingly muscular. Lead track 'Four Letter Word' sounds great when listened to loud and you have no choice really, as it's been mixed and squeezed into a very small narrow corridoor with wind blasting the guitars forcibly into your head until your ears bleed. 'The Morning Son' stretches out nicely and quietly over it's first half until the band come in all hippy and stuff. Still, Liam generally does sound nice with an acoustic. 'For Anyone' is Liam auditioning for a spot on Lennon's 'Double Fantasy' LP, 'The Roller' sounds exactly like Oasis from the past couple of albums, thereby a fairly dull choice of single. Better is the appalingly titled 'Beatles and Stones' which morphs from The Who's 'My Generation' into Jerry Lee Lewis piano fury.

    I've not mentioned any songs penned by Gem Archer? Probably best not to. Overall, a solid set of old-fashioned songs from a bunch of men old enough to not care whether they still make music. The fact they still are must say something about their characters and determination, if nothing else. Oh, Mr Archer? 'Three Ringed Circus' isn't half bad.

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    BE ( 2013 )
    Flick of the Finger / Soul Love / Face the Crowd / Second Bite of the Apple / Soon Come Tomorrow / Iz Rite / I'm Just Saying / Don't Brother Me / Shine a Light / Ballroom Figured / Start Anew"

    Individual writing credits for this record I've not yet come across, yet surely album highlight 'Face The Crowd' has been written by former Ride man, Andy Bell? He played bass in Oasis, now with lead guitar in his hand, 'Face The Crowd' is exactly the sort of thing the former shoegazer would come up with - all chiming guitars and nods to The Who. It's one of the best songs here, if not, the best. Production is heavy on the opening track, and heavy on 'Second Bite Of The Apple', a clumsily put together lyrical tale, a third-rate Oasis and an utter waste of time. The brass instruments present throughout 'Flick Of The Finger' is welcome, a dramatic production but not much of an actual song. Well, let's face it - Liam can write one good song every three years or so, Gem Archer has always been a hack, leaving Andy Bell as the only truly creative member of the band. Even worse, Liam's vocals throughout the album are very thin, pinched and broken. The outro for 'Shine A Light' is very impressive, but mostly because Liam doesn't sing throughout this outro. Musically, 'BE' seems a step forwards from the Beady Eye début, yet the lack of cohesion one song to the next in terms of both lyrical and musical intelligence remains a problem - perhaps even more so, this time out. Liam's words have rarely seemed so little like his own and musically, it seems no one in particular is in charge. These things could be seen laudable of course, if the members of the band were John, George, Ringo and Paul - sadly they are not.

    'Iz Rite' is not very good at all, lyrically it's very weak, the production touches like the distortion work to the advantage of the song in disguising its utter lack of reason to exist. 'I'm Just Saying' rolls in for all the world like an Oasis song and the lyrics continue to reaffirm this, yet Liam's voice has a total lack of depth, again the production touches are disguising a band who lack a direction, so need one papered over them. 'Don't Brother Me', oh the pun - enough said, really. Songs pass by without rhyme or reason, and it's sad. The début Beady Eye album, although raw, sounded exactly like what it was, Oasis without Noel. It was fairly shambolic, yet faintly endearing. The production tricks this time out, all impeccably done mind you, for me, get in the way. It's the sound of a band being more ambitious than their ability should allow for. Me? I'm off to listen to The Sweet.

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    this page last updated 22/06/13

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