Album: Different Gear, Still Speeding
Label: MapleMusic Recordings/Dangerbird Records LLC
Just as Oasis’ “Rock n’ Roll Star” (the first song off of their debut album Definitely Maybe)provokingly slapped you across the face with that ‘pay attention to me’ audacious sneer, Beady Eye’s introductory album Different Gear, Still Speeding brazenly confronts the listener in much the same way with the opening track “Four Letter Word”. The song embodies such a feeling of insolent audacity that you can’t help but feel a tad let down by the sentimentality the record seems to lean towards from there on out.
Following the great opening track, the album tends to vary between sounds inspired by The Beatles (not really shocking), The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, and even Jerry Lee Lewis. Clearly influenced by the 1960s, the album teeters on greatness, but yet seems to fall short as a result of a couple of forgettable tracks like “Millionaire” and “Kill For A Dream”. Also, marred by some unmemorable lyricism from the song writing team, the album does seem to lack that Noel Gallagher expertise of infusing meaningful lyrics with a particular poignancy.
But one must remember that this is not Oasis, and the album should be treated as an entirely separate entity. With this in mind, the ex-members of the aforementioned group (Liam Gallagher-Vocals, Andy Bell and Gem Archer-Guitars, and Chris Sharrock-Drums) still do achieve something special. Through its simplistic approach in presentation, the album incorporates a very back-to-basics sort of rock n’ roll, which is defined through the incorporation of rudimentary drum patterns and basic guitar riffs. And for a group as legendary as Oasis, this return to the basic modes of musicality is definitely the most logical step for the new band.
Different Gear, Still Speeding is not without its flaws, but Liam and the boys do prove that they have the ability to step out onto their own and craft an enjoyable listening experience. And in the long run, isn’t that the most important thing?