I have to admit that I have a bit of curiosity for Beady Eye, the group that Liam Gallagher formed since his brother Noel Gallagher split from Oasis. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have even known that he had formed another band if it weren’t for my occasional reading of British Rock magazines such as Mojo, Uncut, and Q. Unlike US rock magazines, the British rock world hasn’t seem to have gotten tired of the Gallagher’s antics.
Oasis’ place in rock history isn’t quite as cemented as the British press would have you believe. Their first two albums (Definitely Maybe and (What’s the Story )Morning Glory?) are great, but not life-changing. But post-Glory, the most interesting thing about the band was the flares between the two brothers. But despite the name-calling their drama can easily be summed up by Noel’s hubris over his songwriting, and Liam’s insistence of being a “real” rock star.
Different Gear, Still Speeding sounds like Paul McCartney discovered some long lost Beatles demos and gave them to Liam Gallagher. But at least Noel had the instinct to slightly cover up his Beatles’ obsession with loud guitars, and the occasional slight detour into the Manchester sound as if to prove he listened to new music post-1975. But on Beady Eye’s debut, Liam not only takes cues from The Beatles, he’s even retained some of the Fab Four’s sonic textures. George Harrison’s ghost plays some pretty great riffs, and busts out some pretty fantastic solos. “Millionaire” is probably the song George Harrison wrote after his tax problems. “The Roller” takes cues from Lennon’s White Album-era songwriting. And “Bright Light” is a Paul McCartney rave-up on the likes of “I’m Down” and “The Night Before”. Even the names of the songs themselves don’t disguise the younger Gallagher’s love for The Beatles. “Three Ring Circus” – “Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite”, anybody? And there’s no way “Wigwam” isn’t taken from the lyrics of “Hey Bulldog”: “Wigwam, frightening of the dark”
Of course, it’s kind of redundant to pick apart Gallagher’s obsession with The Beatles. When Oasis came out, it might have seemed that some people forgot about The Beatles, or didn’t view them as cool – I’m looking at you, Seattle. Circa 1994-1995, Oasis filled a void of classicist pop that was missing, at least from American shores. Since then, sales of Beatles albums and collections have soared, so it remains to be seen whether people will still be interested in a Beatles retread band without the drama.