Beady Eye – Different Gear, Still Speeding

written by: March 8, 2011
Release Date: March 1, 2011


In the years leading to the group’s inevitable disbandment, Oasis had become a mere caricature of itself. Never able to replicate the mid-’90s heyday, brothers Liam and Noel Gallagher seemed content to let their petty bickering take precedent over music. In 2009, when the band finally called it quits, it came with little surprise and minimal outcry.

But from the ashes of Oasis rose Beady Eye, a band that features most of the former outfit’s core membership.

Gem Archer, Andy Bell and Liam Gallagher have reprised their roles sans-Noel to release an album as dull and uninspired as if it were just another Oasis album. The decision to call it Different Gear, Still Speeding clearly suggests they were perfectly content to do so.

The album opens with “Four Letter Word,” a hard-rocking tune that seeks to establish what the listener can expect from the rest of the album. The track’s insipid guitar riffage and mundane melodicism is enough to elicit audible groans, but Gallagher’s typically puerile lyrics take the cake.

Seemingly ready to shed all the negativity that surrounded Oasis’ downfall, he separates himself from the naysayers by stating, “Sleepwalk away your life if that serves you well.” Woefully unaware of his clownishness for the past 10 years, this opening salvo is met with the kind of irony that’s not so much funny at it is pitiful.

He goes on to suggest, “It’s about time that your mind took a holiday/You’re all grown up, don’t you ever wanna play?”

Not with you, Liam. Not with you.

Like “Four Letter Word,” the rest of Different Gear, Still Speeding is a raucous barrage of hard rock guitars and Mick Jagger impersonations. Tracks that sometimes border on the mod sounds of the British invasion (like the tastelessly obvious “Beatles and Stones”) are instead cheap imitations of the style.

Rather than create a unique or genuine sound, Oasis 2.0 seem even more satisfied to pass off carbon copies of other styles as its own.

On “Bring The Light,” the band subverts a Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano break to unsavory results, while “The Beat Goes On” is the kind of track a Wings cover band might love to play. The ballad “Wigwam” might be the album’s worst, with its maudlin keyboard sounds and distended six-minute running time.

In sequence, it’s hard to tell one song from the next. Each track has a uniformed sound, but Different Gear, Still Speeding is far from a focused piece of work. It’s easy to see where the album is going, calling attention to the laziness of the songwriting. Not a single track stands out and the album as a whole is ultimately forgettable.

Perhaps, the most exasperating aspect of Different Gear, Still Speeding is how matter-of-fact it is. There’s no attempt at reinvention on the behalf Gallagher, Archer and Bell. In virtually every aspect, this is just the newest Oasis record. And while it may be a logical addition to their work-at-large, Liam and Co. do little to justify their previous band’s break-up.

Beady Eye – Different Gear, Still Speeding tracklist:

  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. “Killing 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”