Beady Eye - 'Different Gear, Still Speeding' Album Review

  • Original publication date: 29 March 2011

Recognise the name? It's not a new band, per se. But if you take a closer look at the engine, you'll see that much of the machinery is still the same. 

In 2009, after years of infighting between rock 'n roll's notorious 'Cain and Abel' (Noel and Liam Gallagher...respectively, perhaps?), Oasis split up. Or to put it correctly, the principal song-writer and guitarist, Noel, could not take any more fighting with his brother and quit the band.

A Four Letter Word Really Gets My Meaning

Beady Eye is Oasis, minus 1 x Gallagher brother

Beady Eye is Oasis, minus 1 x Gallagher brother

Beady Eye is the result of the same band, with minor line-up changes, continuing in much the same direction. Take from the album cover what you will, but the title Different Gear, Still Speeding declares their post-Oasis intentions rather clearly.

At first listen, Beady Eye shares much the same characteristics of its predecessor: obsession with 60's rock, especially The Beatles and The Rolling Stones (the thinly-veiled 'Beatles And Stones' keeps that flag flying) and a stadium-sized frenzy of guitars and 'lads on a night on the town' attitude.

But most surprisingly, Liam Gallagher can pen songs, and not just sing them with his Lennon-esque swagger. The album finds some thrills in the baiting album-opener 'Four Letter Word' and its highlight 'Bring The Light' - all 3 minutes 39 seconds of its 50's style rock 'n roll piano, a la Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard. Slide-guitar-infused 'Millionaire' gets somewhat spiritual, 'For Anyone' is brisk and charming, and guitarist Gem Archer even gets one of his songs on the record ('The Roller') dating back to the Heathen Chemistry era of Oasis. Liam's vocals haven't sounded this engaging in years, and he shows a great range in his highly-recognizable voice.

But the album has a few overblown missteps (like the meandering 'Wigwam') and struggles to find new territory in which to establish a musical identity separate from Oasis, or that band's overt influences. Given the post-breakup arms race that has emerged (with Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds the opposing faction), this is perhaps the first salvo in a protracted war; an opening argument in a fan-base divorce case. It's something new from something old (or new); it depends on how you look at it. Cast a beady eye over this one if you're seeking the next oasis.

Tracklisting:

  1. Four Letter Word
  2. Millionaire
  3. The Roller
  4. Beatles And Stones
  5. Wind Up Dream
  6. Bring the Light
  7. For Anyone
  8. Kill For A Dream
  9. Standing On The Edge Of The Noise
  10. Wigwam
  11. Three Ring Circus
  12. The Beat Goes On
  13. The Morning Son

Release date: 28 February 2011