Oasis ended like flat shandy rather than a champagne supernova, so what can we expect from the warring Gallaghers now they’re no longer the final purveyors of Britpop?
Guitarist Noel has been at Abbey Road recording his solo album with choirs and strings, but little brother Liam’s ambitions appear to be a retread of more down-to-earth ingredients of bierkeller rock. Along for the ride are two other members of the final incarnation of Oasis – Gem Archer and Andy Bell – along with drummer Chris Sharrock.
They’re a lean outfit, and the music is of the basic blues rock variety that spawned Merseybeat in the 60s. ‘No flash, no gimmicks and no gloss’ is the production brief. And although it doesn’t come close to matching the retro style of, say, the Black Keys, it feels like an album that wants to be listened to on vinyl rather than CD.
Rather brilliantly the snarl and bile has returned to Gallagher’s vocal as he sneers out a series of lyrics that bristle with the limited vocab of 1963 man-rock. For all the energy and brio, though, it is all a little too familiar. There’s very little here that won’t remind you of John Lennon (The Roller is a dead ringer for Instant Karma) or the Traveling Wilburys (For Anyone) or The Rutles (Millionaire), and the tunes aren’t big enough to compensate.
For Oasis fans who always wanted more Liam it’ll be a treat. For the rest it’s hard to imagine that the different gear of the title is anything other than reverse.