Liam Gallagher & John Squire's collaborative album really works: maybe it's because Squire is working with a singer for the first time

Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher and Stone Roses guitarist John Squire combine on an album that's derivative but hugely enjoyable

Liam Gallagher & John Squire cover art
(Image: © Parlophone)

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Collaborations don’t always work: when you have too many big names in a group, sometimes the result is more like standing on the toes of giants than standing on their shoulders: the combination of two or more rock legends often tends to dilute the result, not enhance it. In this case, however, it all seems to have turned out all right. 

Maybe it’s because Liam Gallagher (vocals) is a fan of John Squire (guitar) and so is on his best behaviour. Maybe it’s because John Squire has got someone he can work off: after all, it’s the first time he’s worked with a singer. Whatever it is, the combination of Gallagher’s untrammeled vocal blasts – he sings on this record like if John Lennon was a cannon – and Squire’s lenormous slabs of riffs works perfectly. 

It’s very stompy, which is a good thing, and sounds throughout like the final days of late psychedelia as it turned into 1968-era heavy rock: very heavy and far from humble. True, there’s the usual Lego aspect of all post-modern guitar music: if you think you’ve heard this song before, you have. 

From Mars To Liverpool stomps along like a dazed Godzilla on a riff that’s often similar to Lou Reed’s version of Rock’n’Roll, while Just Another Rainbow sounds like every Liam vocal thrown into a blender with large parts of The BeatlesRain. Meanwhile, I’m A Wheel introduces us to the third coming as it asks the unwanted question, ‘what if Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing turned into a long and turgid blues number?”

All of which makes this album sound a little derivative, which at times it is: but it’s full of twists and turns that are Squire’s own, where he seems unable to decide which riff to play so plays all the ones he knows at once instead. Meanwhile, Gallagher is infused with the pure enjoyment of making music for fun and sings his enormous heart out. 

And with songs like Make It Up As You Along (“thank you for your thoughts and prayers and fuck you too”) and the self-explanatory I’m So Bored, there’s a freshness in both words and attitude that’s more than welcome in a world of heritage and excessive respect. So until the long-awaited collaboration between Noel Gallagher and Ian Brown emerges, feast your ears on this hugely enjoyable album. 

David Quantick

David Quantick is an English novelist, comedy writer and critic, who has worked as a journalist and screenwriter. A former staff writer for the music magazine NME, his writing credits have included On the HourBlue JamTV Burp and Veep; for the latter of these he won an Emmy in 2015.