Gallagher younger cops a lot of flack from people which has always puzzled us.
We know he has an abrasive, cardboard cut out, tabloid version of himself out there in the public eye but that’s not the full story. In reality he seems quite sensitive behind the bravado and, as many fans testify, is very approachable and generous.
True, the debut Beady Eye album could be accused of being derivative but no it is more or less derivative of many critics faves who plunder the post punk period for inspiration (and as someone who loves both the Beatles and post punk I can spot the reference points of both parties a mile off).
The Beady Eye debut was an engaging record with really good songs and the captivating naivete that a 15-year career in rock n roll should have destroyed. The new one has been given a twisted sheen with the production talents of TV On The Radio. Our mates at Travellers Tunes blog spot were at the recent playback in Soho and sent us this report on the new album…
TT was at the Soho Hotel last night for the Beady Eye album playback. The lavish setting is one you would expect new bands to be throwing money at to impress the music industry, not a group of legends who have nothing left to prove. Or so you would think, Liam is bouncing around the room, from group to group, before and after the playback. The enthusiasm on display seems hell bent banishing the critics of ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’.
Here is our track by track review. We must point out all reviews are based on hearing each track only once so the ability to allow a song to grow on you has not yet been had:
1. Flick Of The Finger – the album opener appeared online recently and certainly made fans sit up and listen.
The band along with TV On The Radio’s Dave Sitek producing have broadened their sound. There is still the same trippy Revolver sonic to the tune which has been around forever it seems but the use of a brass band gives this a sense of enormity that Liam’s bravado deserves.
2. Soul Love – Sitek again works his magic here, applying a Kevin Shields-esque production to create a more introspective and eerie number.
3. Face The Crowd – a real corker. Anyone who loves the early Who records will dig this.
Just when you thought Miles Kane was about to steal the crown of King Mod, Liam comes storming back. The psychedelic guitar breakdown is massive as well. From the back of the plush cinema we are in Liam reiterates TT’s positivity bellowing “Fucking tune, have that”.
4. Second Bite Of The Apple – another Beatles-circa-Revolver number which is not particularly inspiring as a debut single, especially after the cascading Face In The Crowd.
5. Soon Come Tomorrow – although it lacks the brilliance of the Verve, the slow building guitars create a sound which Nick McCabe would be proud of. It’s a more intelligent Stand By Me and a gutsier Stop Crying Your Heart Out.
6. Iz Rite – felt like the weakest track of the night, almost as though they are trying to grasp their former inhibited magic. By no means a bad song but it’s not as free and easy as Some Might Say, it’s not even as free and easy as Four Letter Word. Having heard the trippy b-side Dreaming Of Some Space TT wonders why it is not on here instead.
7. I’m Just Saying – more spell binding MBV hissing guitars here. Combined with their quintessential glam stomp and some big choppy riffs which bring the mood of the album up again. The aggressive Byrds-esque guitar is joyous, as are, Liam’s vocals, which are reminiscent of Pete Shelly in his pomp.
8. Don’t Brother Me – the song is unequivocally about Noel and is by far the most interesting song on the album.
The opening is full of accusations and is brilliantly sarcastic when Liam sings ‘Did you have your fun?/ Did you shoot your gun?’. Undoubtedly the music press will latch onto this and barrage Liam and co with relentlessly boring questions.
However, the noteworthy aspect for us, comes in the honesty and reflection of the latter verses. They might not be the greatest lyrics written about redemption but he alludes to wanting to make peace by saying ‘C’mon be a man / Give peace a chance’. The reunion is still on surely?
9. Shine A Light – after all the drama of the previous track this feels like a bit of a filler track. There’s a nod towards Lyla it seems but nothing standing out much here.
10. Ballroom Figured – another stripped back number. For TT, we wish they plugged in for 100% of the time as their melodies are not strong enough on tracks like this sadly.
11. Star Anew – a classic album closer. Big, grandiose and rock n roll. Oasis fans will be clambering after this track more than any other.
It has a fantastic drunken sway to it and the guitar solo is fantastic. So much so, Liam at the back of the cinema decides to play air guitar.