[sic] Magazine

Beady Eye – Different Gear, Still Speeding

From the wreckage of Oasis , Liam, Gem, Andy and that other drummer bloke, crawl out defiant, bleeding, and looking very old. At 20 years in, 15 since the heady days of a generation-defining Knebworth, and with only a singer in common with the glory days of Oasis, Beady Eye can’t reasonably be called a debut, but a band that arrives in an alleged wave of glory on the back of past success. Cynicism is rightly dripping from punters – this rebranded version of another band without the main songwriter, could it be any good? And then ‘Four Letter Word’, easily the best thing from anyone involved for a decade, races out of the traps. It bodes well, but fails to deliver.

It’s followed by two limp mid-paced rock ballads, a 100% Rutles -level Beatles pastiche of ‘The Roller’, and then the Who -lite ‘Beatles And Stones’. The latter song proclaims ‘I’ll stand the test of time, like The Beatles And Stones’ – typically modest, self-mythologising rubbish that proves that it’s Liam’s world, even if it isn’t, and art is often as much about self-obsession as it is the self. And always be wary of bands that write songs about the road, or being ‘Millionaires’. Two things far away from most of our lives. Either art is the communication of an idea to others, or a statement of the self. This isn’t really art, but noise, confusion, entertainment, and a shameless recreation of the music of youth.

Aside from limited debut single ‘Bring The Light’, the rest of the album is the kind of material Oasis have being doing in their sleep for a decade, mid-paced, semi-dreamy, sub psychedelic meanders punctuated with occasional bursts of jaunty rock.

These aren’t bad songs by any standard, but generic recreations of the late Sixties/early Seventies heyday of a certain brand of rock. And, set free from the melodic leans of his big brother, Liam Gallagher and The Blokes generate a world of ramshackle, heavily-indebted, quite good rock’n’roll. There’s stuff like this being played in dozens of pubs in London right now by guys with day jobs and dreams. It’s not bad: it’s not amazing; it’s just another average rock LP. It’s more that Beady Eye used to be most of a huge stadium rock band that allows them to live this dream as a rock retirement plan. It may be this record ages better than some of Oasis’ later work, with longevity and a healthy afterlife. It may not.

At this stage, though ‘Different Gear, Still Speeding’ is an accomplished rock album from veterans starting out their second life with promise. It’s not the rebirth of a Rock’n’Roll Jesus, or a brave new world. This, despite the name, is what happens in the world of Oasis when The Guvnor has left, or the Proles have revolted and seized the reins. As the old ways die and the former distribution model collapses into dispersed and scattered modern music industry, Beady Eye may yet prove that this band could be the democracy that eluded Oasis. A solid, unexceptional, competent debut with a couple of great songs.


For more from Mark, please visit The Final Word