Beady Eye Different Gear, Still Speeding

Beady Eye Different Gear, Still Speeding
There's no way to avoid stating the obvious: Beady Eye are essentially Oasis without main songwriter Noel Gallagher. To some, that could be a good thing, considering the former Britpop champs struggled to reclaim the magic of their first two albums in their last decade together. Beady Eye would definitely see it that way. According to members, the band formed two hours after Noel resigned in August 2009. That impulse may be the basis for how they were founded, but it also rings throughout their debut album. From the title, Different Gear, Still Speeding, down to the music's spirited, live feel, you get the sense that the songs poured out of them in the studio. Debut single "Bring the Light" is the best example of Beady Eye's vigour; it's a piano-hopping romp that sounds as much the product of Jerry Lee Lewis or Little Richard as it does songwriter Liam Gallagher. There are a few more surprises, like the warm psychedelia flowing through "Wigwam" and "The Morning Sun," and the footloose pub rock of "Standing On the Edge of the Night." The focus is squarely on Liam to see if he has the songwriting chops to match his big brother, and he continually impresses throughout the album, despite some gaffes, like the lazy hero worship of "Beatles and Stones." Different Gear, Still Speeding is no Definitely Maybe, but it's also no worse than Oasis's output from Standing On the Shoulder of Giants onwards. Even though it's not that much of a stretch from that jaded old band of theirs, Beady Eye's debut should go down in the record books as a success. (Beady Eye/MapleMusic)